Books·Canadian

All of Us in Our Own Lives

A novel by Manjushree Thapa.

Manjushree Thapa

Ava Berriden, a Canadian lawyer, quits her corporate job in Toronto to move to Nepal, from where she was adopted as a baby. There she struggles to adapt to her new career in international aid and forge a connection with the country of her birth.

Ava's work brings her into contact with Indira Sharma, who has ambitions of becoming the first Nepali woman director of an NGO; Sapana Karki, a bright young teenager living in a small village; and Gyanu, Sapana's brother, who has returned home from Dubai to settle his sister's future after their father's death. Their journeys collide in unexpected ways.

All of Us in Our Own Lives is a stunning, keenly observant novel about human interconnectedness, about privilege, and about the ethics of international aid (the earnestness and idealism and yet its cynical, moneyed nature). (From Freehand Books)

From the book

If Ava could get back those ten lost days, she would swim to the whale rock at every chance, sunbathe on its surface and then plunge into the cool, sparkling water, losing herself in the depths, in the darkness, and staying underwater forever before coming up for a breath. Then she would plunge back down again. She wouldn't waste any time at the cottage talking — or trying to talk — with Gavin. She wouldn't miss a single chance to swim in the lake if she could get those ten days back.

She picked up a folder from her desk, put it down, and picked it up again. In front of her lay a hundred and seventy-one folders, stacked all the way from her attaché case to the crystal pyramid that she had received as a deal toy from her last big file, the Toralan file. Ava needed to locate the documents on some uncollected receivables for her current file, a small one generated from her own contacts. A large paper mill from Detroit was buying out a smaller one in Hamilton. The owner of the mill in Hamilton would retain an ongoing interest, including a seat on the board. Both parties had already signed a letter of intent and a confidentiality agreement.


From All of Us in Our Own Lives by Manjushree Thapa ©2016. Published by Freehand Books.