Today I’m spotlighting the book The Direction of the Wind by Mansi Shah. To be completely transparent, I read a little less than half of the novel last week and I really liked the beginning and thought it was really interesting, but then I started to get annoyed with one of the main characters so I started skimming and it was only making me more mad so I skimmed the rest.
However, don’t let my personal opinion deter you from reading the book because you may really like it! Synopsis below!
The novel switches back and forth between 1999 and 2019. In 2019, Sophie lives in India and is mourning the recent passing of her beloved father. Her mother passed away 20 years ago when she was a young girl, but when cleaning up her father’s belongings she finds letters from her mother postmarked from Paris in 1999 after her mother had supposedly died. She learns her mother did not die, but left for Paris because she did not want the married and motherhood in India that was arranged for her and she longed to become an artist in France. Shocked that her mother did not die, but left her, and disappointed that her father had lied to her for 20 years, Sophie goes to Paris to find her mother.
In 1999, Nita arrives in Paris knowing very little french, not realizing she needs working papers to find a job and make money, but determined to make a life there. She meets and begins a romantic relationship with a struggling artist, Mathieu. Through him she immerses herself in the culture and distances herself further from her Indian upbringing and culture. She begins eating meat, drinking alcohol, smoking, and eventually developing other habits in the form of drugs etc.
Will Sophie find her mother and what will the future hold?
So Nita’s slide into drugs and a toxic relationship started to annoy me because before that I was sort of rooting for Nita to find herself and follow her dream of becoming an artist even though I wasn’t thrilled about the fact that she left her daughter. Then I thought maybe she would pull herself out of the bad path she had found herself on, but she didn’t. More bad things happen and I don’t really like books that don’t have completely happy endings and also with all the bad things that happen I didn’t understand what the point was?
End of spoilers
All in all, the premise was great and I enjoyed the first 1/4 or so of the book before I just couldn’t deal anymore which is why I skimmed the second half. I still wanted to see what would happen so that’s saying something about the book still! Since I didn’t properly read the whole novel I don’t want to say this is a real book review so that’s why I titled this post as a spotlight and I didn’t leave a GoodReads review.
*This book was sent to me complimentary, but all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.*