I’m excited to be taking part in the MTMC Bookstagram & Creative Tour for The Direction of The Wind by Mansi Shah. This is a heartfelt story that spans continents and generations, about a young woman who searches for answers about a mother she barely remembers. This is a contemporary women’s fiction story (out now!) that will keep you turning pages. It’s told in two timelines, half by Sophie as she searches for answers about a mother she believed to be dead but who really left her as a child for Paris, and half by her mother, Nita, and why she left and what happened to her. The two women’s lives had beautiful and achingly sad parallels and I loved how they both were hungry for similar things but came to very different conclusions on how to reach for that happiness.
It was very deeply a story about searching, about loss and discovery. What you have to sacrifice to find yourself. What you might gain by taking risks. Both Sophie and Nita start their stories quite naive and feeling trapped as they face down a life of marriage and babies, a life they’re not sure they chose for themselves. I liked how they were mirrors at first and then how the story spun out the decisions they made. It’s a bittersweet story, both sad and hopeful, and strongly about family and the power to choose your life for yourself.
I’m excited to have a chance to interview the author, Mansi Shah, below!! Read on for the Q&A! Huge thanks to MTMC Tours & Mansi Shah for the copy of The Direction of the Wind.
Hi Mansi! It’s so nice to have you back for another interview, this time for your latest release The Direction Of The Wind! Can you tell us a little about how long it took to go from beginning of an idea to finished novel in our hands?
This book is very close to my heart because I’ve had loved ones who have battled different kinds of addiction, and this book was a way for me to process my feelings about those situations. I started writing it in 2014, with long breaks in between, especially when I got my book deal for The Taste of Ginger, so while I wasn’t working on it constantly, it has lived in my heart and mind for many years prior to publication.
Did anything about your writing process change while writing your second novel?
For this novel, I had a clear revision of all of the big events and what the ending and characters arcs would be before I started writing. After writing The Taste of Ginger, I learned I am not a “pantser”!
What is the most exciting part of the writing process for you?
The second draft. For me, the first draft is trying to figure out if I have enough of a concept to sustain an entire novel. Having reached my word count and feeling good about the arcs of the characters, I can then roll up my sleeves and delve into the nuance and layering of topics, and there is no better feeling than getting to the end of that second draft when I feel like my story becomes a book.
What are your favourite things about Paris?
I could go on for days about this! I’m very fortunate to have spent a lot of time in Paris as an adult and it now feels like a home away from home. I absolutely love the food and wine, and for me that’s finding the best vegetarian food in a city that isn’t often known for that, but really should be. I like that people put their phones away and have leisurely meals with engaging conversation. I adore the culture with so much great art and history at every turn while you’re walking down the street, and I love that it’s a city that is best explored on foot.
Can we ask for a sneak peek about what you’re working on next?
I really like to take readers on a journey in my books, so I’m currently working on a project that is set in Italy and involves a chef, allowing me to combine my personal obsessions with food and travel into one project.
And lastly! What kind of feelings do you hope The Direction of The Wind evokes in readers? What’s a message you’d love them to leave with?
I hope people leave the book with a sense of hope for Sophie and empathy and compassion for Nita. Mental health is such a difficult topic and I hope that through these pages readers can feel how it affects not just the person going through it but those around them. In the end, I hope readers appreciate that love and respect for one another may not look the same in every family, and there are multiple ways to show it.
. . • ☆ . ° .• °:. *₊ ° . ☆
Mansi Shah is a writer who lives in Los Angeles. She was born in Toronto, Canada, was raised in the midwestern United States, and studied at universities in America, Australia, and England. When she’s not writing, she’s traveling and exploring different cultures near and far, experimenting on a new culinary creation, or trying to improve her tennis game. Website | Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads
A heartfelt story that spans continents and generations, about a young woman who searches for answers about a mother she barely remembers.
Sophie Shah was six when she learned her mother, Nita, had died. For twenty-two years, she shouldered the burden of that loss. But when her father passes away, Sophie discovers a cache of hidden letters revealing a shattering truth: her mother didn’t die. She left.
Nita Shah had everything most women dreamed of in her hometown of Ahmedabad, India—a loving husband, a doting daughter, financial security—but in her heart, she felt like she was living a lie. Fueled by her creative ambitions, Nita moved to Paris, the artists’ capital of the world—even though it meant leaving her family behind. But once in Paris, Nita’s decision and its consequences would haunt her in ways she never expected.
Now that Sophie knows the truth, she’s determined to find the mother who abandoned her. Sophie jets off to Paris, even though the impulsive trip may risk her impending arranged marriage. In the City of Light, she chases lead after lead that help her piece together a startling portrait of her mother. Though Sophie goes to Paris to find Nita, she may just also discover parts of herself she never knew.
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Blackwell’s | Goodreads
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