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The Direction of the Wind

A novel by

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.

Genre: General Fiction

Praise for this book

"How far would you go to save the core part of yourself? The Direction of the Wind is a fearless novel that explores the boundaries of motherhood and takes readers on a journey across the globe." - Jennifer Bardsley

"The Direction of the Wind will grab your heart from the first page. Beautifully written, this haunting story about a young woman searching for her mother is heartbreaking and uplifting as it immerses you in both Ahmedabad, India, and Paris, France. Mansi Shah is now a must-read author for me." - Lyn Liao Butler

"With an immersive setting and captivating storytelling, Mansi Shah weaves a gripping tale of the complex relationships of mothers and daughters. The Direction of the Wind sweeps readers along as Sophie retraces her mother's footsteps through the city of Paris, embarking on an emotional journey of self-discovery and forgiveness that ultimately teaches her the meaning of family and the importance of choosing one's own path. Fans of Shah's breakout debut, The Taste of Ginger, will love this outstanding sophomore novel." - Elissa Grossell Dickey

"A heartfelt and empathetic look at a free-spirited mother and her daughter, separated by choice, time, and circumstance, irrevocably bonded by their shared desire to learn who they are meant to be. Shah creates an unforgettable story, steeped in Parisian atmosphere and braided with compassion. This book will break your heart and then mend it, in the most wonderful way." - Paulette Kennedy

"The Direction of the Wind is an unexpected and compelling exploration of the way culture shapes us. This is a gritty, lyrical, heartbreaking, and deeply moving novel. I found myself reading far into the night, unable to leave behind the quest of these two women, a generation apart. Mansi Shah writes with a fresh voice and clear eyes." - Barbara O'Neal

"The Direction of the Wind is an incredible story of one woman coming into her own by unearthing the past and learning new truths by searching for a mother she's never truly known. Once again, Mansi Shah has written an immersive novel that grips your heart by the fist and doesn't let go until the end." - Namrata Patel

"A poignant and heart-wrenching story that explores the footsteps of the past as well as the ties of family and the bravery needed to break free. Mansi Shah's latest novel takes the reader on a journey of love, risk, betrayal, and forgiveness." - Gian Sardar

"A tender novel about the push and pull between families and independence, obligation and freedom, and the past and the future. The Direction of the Wind will both break your heart and send it soaring. Bravo, Mansi Shah!" - Allison Winn Scotch

"Mansi Shah's second novel, The Direction of the Wind, is an absorbing exploration of the price of passion and blazing one's own path despite the weight of convention, family obligations, even motherhood. Using interlocking mother-daughter perspectives spanning decades and continents, Shah gives an unflinching portrayal of lost innocence, addiction, and misplaced romance. Despite heavy losses, this is a hopeful novel set in the city of light, where love prevails in unlikely friendships and the unbreakable bond of chosen family. Perfect reading for travelers and journeys of the heart." - Yoojin Grace Wuertz

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