Things are not going well for Maansi Cavale.
Her depression is worsening, she barely passes her university exams and she winds up stuck at home, full of regret and unable to find a job. She’d do anything for a way out.
Though Maansi previously considered arranged marriage an outdated tradition (only to be agreed to if you’re in your mid-forties and unable to bag anybody yourself), a chance meeting at an Indian wedding party changes everything. Desperate to escape the shackles of monotony and unemployment, she agrees to marry the handsome and wealthy Aryan Alekar. She convinces herself a new lifestyle and wealth will lift her out of the pit. She secures the marriage, but not before serving up a few lies about herself…
As they settle into married life, Aryan remains a mystery to Maansi: some days warm and loving, others cold and distant. Maansi can’t help but wonder…who is Aryan Alekar really? And why did he choose to marry so young? While living with Aryan, Maansi realises she could never be satisfied playing housewife. After all, she once had goals and dreams.
While searching for the ambitious Maansi she has buried, Maansi starts to realise that the man she has married is even further from what he seems… Can she salvage their union or will they set each other free?
All the Words Unspoken is a fresh, new voice from debut British-Asian author, Serena Kaur. It is a love story that challenges our preconceptions of relationships and shows us that the choices we make have implications and ramifications far beyond the horizon we can see.
MY INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR!
- When did you know that you wanted to be an author?
I knew since I was a child. When I was at primary school, I would spend my time telling tales and writing stories instead of playing tag with my friends. At that age, I was already telling the world I was going to write a novel one day. Once I graduated with an English degree and was officially done with my education, I got straight to work and wrote All the Words Unspoken! I couldn’t see a future, in my mind, that didn’t involve me being a writer.
- What inspired you to write this book?
As part of my university course, I read Meera Syal’s Anita and Me. It was the first time I’d read a story about a British-Asian girl. I connected deeply with the character and could relate to much of what she was experiencing. I realised, with quite a heavy heart, that this was the first book I’d read with a British-Asian protagonist. It was wonderful to be able to see myself within the pages of a book. I wanted to add more British-Asian voices to the tiny pool.
Picking something to write about was easy. Within the British-Asian community, I’ve seen many people – my friends and family included – that have sacrificed something they love or have made a choice that went against their personal wishes, all because of the fear of what others would say. What will people say is a common saying in Asian households and many jokes that it’s the ultimate dream killer. I wanted to show the consequences of submitting to this way of thinking. I wanted to explore the damage that arises from surrendering your personal will.
- If you could sell this book in one sentence what would it be?
Maansi and Aryan agree to marry each other to escape the weight of their pasts, but their secrets threaten to surface and destroy their union…
- What are you up to next?
I am now working on my next novel which focuses on a complex female friendship and living a life with a M.E – a debilitating and poorly understood condition that millions live with. I live with M.E myself, so my next novel draws a lot from my own vulnerabilities and personal experiences.
- Who is your biggest inspiration?
It’s hard to name just one. Every author I’ve read has contributed, in one way or another, to helping me find my own writing style and voice. I have always admired Toni Morrison, for being unapologetic and brave with her writing. I tend not to read books twice but I could read hers again and again. Not only did she produce lyrical prose, but she confronted hard truths in her book. Although my work could never compare to the genius of Toni Morrison’s work, she has been a huge inspiration.
It was also her words that inspired me to finish my first novel. She said, ‘If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it.’