I recently discovered this cute Indie Book Store called Johns Creek Books & Gifts a few months ago, and immediately signed up for updates on news & events. I was delighted when I saw that Soniah Kamal would be visiting, inquired about covering the signing, and marked my calendar.
Having not read her book Unmarriageble yet, but seeing a lot of great reviews about this Pride & Prejudice retelling, I was excited to be able to sit and listen to Soniah’s story.
From the moment she walked in, Soniah visited with her readers and made genuine conversation with everyone there. She also took pictures and signed books. It was more a home vibe with friends having a get-together than an author and her fans getting together. She’s lovely, and I love how much she interacted with everyone.
Not only were her readers there, but she also brought her own family & friends. There was a great crowd there that night with food, wine and laughs all around.
Soniah is very open about her life journey, and how she got into writing in the first place; even though she wanted to be an actress! She discussed openly the pressure of finding a husband in her culture, and how her love for Austen inspired her to write a more modern retelling in Pakistan.
Personally, I loved listening to her story, and how she grew up in different places around the world.
Her novel, Unmarriable, was written in just 2 short months for her MA at the Georgia State University; which is nothing short of amazing.
As a mother of two that works full time, writes, runs a blog, and constantly looking for ways to better myself, and others, she is inspiring!
About the BookUnmarriageable
by Soniah Kamal
Narrated by : Soniah Kamal
Release date : January 22nd, 2019
Genres: Adult, Retellings
Purchase at: Amazon (Affiliate Link)
In this one-of-a-kind retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in modern-day Pakistan, Alys Binat has sworn never to marry—until an encounter with one Mr. Darsee at a wedding makes her reconsider.
A scandal and vicious rumor concerning the Binat family have destroyed their fortune and prospects for desirable marriages, but Alys, the second and most practical of the five Binat daughters, has found happiness teaching English literature to schoolgirls. Knowing that many of her students won’t make it to graduation before dropping out to marry and have children, Alys teaches them about Jane Austen and her other literary heroes and hopes to inspire the girls to dream of more.
When an invitation arrives to the biggest wedding their small town has seen in years, Mrs. Binat, certain that their luck is about to change, excitedly sets to work preparing her daughters to fish for rich, eligible bachelors. On the first night of the festivities, Alys’s lovely older sister, Jena, catches the eye of Fahad “Bungles” Bingla, the wildly successful—and single—entrepreneur. But Bungles’s friend Valentine Darsee is clearly unimpressed by the Binat family. Alys accidentally overhears his unflattering assessment of her and quickly dismisses him and his snobbish ways. As the days of lavish wedding parties unfold, the Binats wait breathlessly to see if Jena will land a proposal—and Alys begins to realize that Darsee’s brusque manner may be hiding a very different man from the one she saw at first glance.
Told with wry wit and colorful prose, Unmarriageable is a charming update on Jane Austen’s beloved novel and an exhilarating exploration of love, marriage, class, and sisterhood.
More about the Book
When asked if she based any of the characters on people she knows in real life, she joking said “NO, NO ONE AT ALL!” with a mischievous look on her face. Shortly after, she went into a few details about how many individuals in her life influenced the characters of her book.
I had a question about the narration of the audiobook, but actually, I didn’t get to ask because she discussed it without prompt.
Soniah narrators her novel, and my question was, “what was the thought process on that decision?” While not wholly uncommon, you don’t see it much in fiction.
She was in fact, approached by the publisher to do the narration. At first, she had reservations about doing it; she isn’t a “professional,” didn’t have any “training,” but as the publisher pointed out, she always wanted to be an actress. And this was her opportunity to get a taste of that while reading her book.
When presented like that, it’s incredible, right?
Once everything wrapped up, I high to hightail it out of there but wish I could have stayed to visit longer. Soniah is a delight, and I look forward to hearing more from her – and reading Unmarriageable.
BY THE WAY – she wouldn’t comment on if there was a show/movie adaptation in the works, so that tells me THERE MIGHT BE!
- Local friends! Have you visited Johns Creek Books & Gifts?
- Have you read Unmarriageable yet? If so, what did you think?
- Do you attend author events at your local indie store?
Tonyalee is an avid reader, gym junkie, coffee addicted workaholic, and blogger. Be sure to follow on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram for random shenanigans.