I can’t believe it’s already been a year since my debut novel, Nairobi Ndoto, was released. So much work went into the book and I was thrilled when it published. This past year has given me even more joy because so much has happened since the launch.
I got to see my book out in the wild in a bookstore. I did my first ever book reading. People all over the world have read my book, from the US, to Austria, to Spain, Germany, the UK, Kenya, Italy, Canada, and more. And – this is what astounded me – most of them are people I don’t know. The experience has been humbling, overwhelming, and encouraging.
Have you read Nairobi Ndoto? What did you think? Leave a review or rating on Goodreads or at wherever you bought the book. This is a great way to support authors. Rating and reviews are the primary drivers for book sales.
If you haven’t read it yet, now is a good time to give it a shot. The ebook version will be on sale at a discounted price from September 15th (today) through September 30th. The ebook is available on Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, Thalia, and more.
Asante sana! Thank you!
Does your book club plan to read Nairobi Ndoto? Here are some possible book club questions:
- Between Tilly, Pauline, and Zara, who is your favorite character and why?
- If you could meet one of them right now, what would you say to her?
- If you adapted this book into a movie, who would you cast for each of the three main characters?
- How much did you know about Nairobi or Kenya before reading this book?
- Did this book change or challenge any preconceived notions you had about either?
- How did the setting impact the narrative?
- Have you ever traveled to the destinations described in this book?
- Are there any places from the book you would like to visit?
- From your point of view, what were the central themes of the book?
- Did you have a favorite quote or quotes? If so, share which and why?
- If you could ask Mahua one question about the book, what would it be?
- Pretend you’re a famous author writing a blurb for the cover. What would you say?
Last but not least: What food and wine would best pair with a Nairobi Ndoto book club meeting?
Expat life means many things to Pauline. It’s an adventure. It’s a path to new professional opportunities. It’s a way to fix her strained marriage. She put all these hopes into moving to Nairobi. Things did not go as expected.
Now she’s trying to establish a life in Nairobi. She’s figuring out what to do about her marriage. She’s working as hard as she can to get her career back on track. But one thing after another keeps going wrong.
Pauline is struggling.
Expat life doesn’t always go as planned and isn’t always what you think it’ll be.
Tilly and her family have been expats for ages. Nairobi was meant to be a two-year post, just the next stop in their many adventures abroad. Somehow, two years turned into nine without her even noticing it. She loves Nairobi, as do her husband and their three sons.
She stopped thinking of Kenya as a new, exotic location years ago. It’s just where she lives. She has practically become a local and her life is fully enmeshed in Nairobi. She hasn’t even thought about the next move, until now.
She’s ready for a new career, but is it worth exploring if they have to move in a year or two? Part of expat life is knowing that you have to leave at some point. But what if she doesn’t want to say goodbye? Could she stay?
My reading at Shakespeare & Co. Booksellers went really well. I was blown away and awestruck by the turn out. As a new author, I had hoped for a handful of people – instead, we had the place fully packed! I am so grateful to everyone interested in Nairobi Ndoto who came out to hear me read. I hope everyone enjoyed the reading as much as I did.
Zara loves her job in child protection services. She believes in the work and is passionate about helping and protecting children. But, after many years in the field, she has grown tired of going from assignment to assignment every year or two. She hopes she’ll be able to find something solid in Nairobi, where she was supposed to be instead of shuttling back and forth to Mogadishu.
She’s ready to settle down. She wants to stay in one place long enough to make a real difference. That’s her ndoto, her dream.
The ebook for Nairobi Ndoto is on sale TODAY for only $0.99! You can get it in paperback and ebook from Apple Books, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Thalia, and more.
Nairobi Ndoto is by no means a memoir. But aspects of my life in Kenya definitely inspired parts of the story. The fantastic weather, the abundant nature, the crazy weather, and the matatus are all real. Here’s a little taste of the elements of my Nairobi life that pop up in the novel:
Nairobi Ndoto is now available!
The novel is about three expatriate women who find their ndoto—the Swahili word for dreams—have become a nightmare when their world is thrown into turmoil by murder. Tilly, Pauline, and Zara each dreamed of a life abroad in Kenya filled with adventure, opportunities, and new beginnings. Reality didn’t match the dream.
If you’re interested in the story and want to check out the book, you can get it in ebook and paperback formats through Apple Books, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Thalia, and more. You can also order it through your local bookstore.
The release date is September 15th, but the book is already available for pre-sale in ebook format.
Nairobi Ndoto is about three expatriate women who find their ndoto—the Swahili word for dreams—have become a nightmare when their world is thrown into turmoil by murder.
Tilly, Pauline, and Zara each dreamed of a life abroad in Kenya filled with adventure, opportunities, and new beginnings. Reality didn’t match the dream. Tilly thought her move to Kenya would be temporary, but nearly ten years and three kids later, she no longer knows what home is. Dealing with an increasingly strained marriage, Pauline struggles to establish herself as more than a trailing spouse. Zara, tired of shuttling between Nairobi and Mogadishu and sleeping in borrowed shipping containers, longs for stability. When one of their husbands engages in illicit activity, the women become entangled in a murder. Lines are crossed and friendships tested as they sift through the shock and tragedy.
If you’re interested in the story and want to check out the ebook, you can pre-order it through Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Thalia, and more.