Thursday, April 6, 2017

Henna House, by Nomi Eve

Monday, April 24, 2017, at 2:00 P.M.
 Eve (The Family Orchard) re-creates the life of the Yemenite Jewish community from 1920 through the group's immigration to Israel in 1950. At the age of five, Adela Damari is terrified by the Confiscator, an agent of the local imam, whose job it is to remove orphaned Jewish children from their community and place them with Muslim families. To protect Adela, her ailing parents madly hunt for a Jewish male to become her betrothed. When her aunt, uncle, and cousin arrive in the village, Adela becomes entranced by the henna designs created by her aunt, learns her craft, and also bonds with her female cousin, Hani. As all of Adela's betrothals fail and drought strikes the village, the family flees to the seaport city of Aden. Finally, in 1950 the Israelis airlift the entire Yemenite community to Israel where they find safety, but not necessarily acceptance.... Eve opens a window on a community, little known in the Western world, whose rituals and traditions were maintained for over 2,000 years. Her appealing portrait of young men and women moving from an ancient life into modernity will captivate readers who enjoy historical fiction. (Library Journal)