Spanning decades, this sensual adventure is told through the ornate patterns and hidden language of henna body art. We follow Adela through her childhood, as she explores her identity as a Yemeni Jew growing up in the midst of Muslim culture, through the horror of the Holocaust, to settlement in Israel. There is much to savour in the intricate detail of family and ritual, the blend of history and fiction, the tangible sun and delectable spice.
The paste dried quickly. I could feel it growing tight and purposeful on my skin. Once all of our hands were decorated, Sultana lifted a tambourine, and all our voices joined in song. We sang of the hill-country women who bear baskets on their heads but keep their spines straight as arrows as they traverse the distance between market and home. That first night I was a novitiate. Soon, like others, I would learn about the stars in the heavens by reading the astrological tables they inscribed on my feet, shins, and fingers. Soon, I would grow to believe that I myself was an actual text.