Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Title: Secret Daughter
Author: Shilpi Somaya Gowda
Pages: 339
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: William Morrow (Harper Collins)
Pub. Date: April 5, 2011


There was a time in my life when I loved reading books about adoption. I actually had a strong interest in adoption and the dynamics it plays in birth and adoptive families. I sort of outgrew that for various reasons, so I initially passed on this book about a family that adopts a daughter from India and thought maybe the story was overdone. But then I read the initial reviews which were all good and reconsidered. Almost immediately after picking up the book I realized I made a good decision to read Secret Daughter after all. I so thoroughly enjoyed this book from the very beginning to the end and thought it brought up interesting topics.

Asha is born in India and taken to the orphanage upon birth. Her mother, Kavita, takes her there in an effort to save her from the fate of the first daughter born to her. Soon-to-be adoptive mother, Somer, is ironically working as a pediatrician when she realizes she will be unable to give birth to her own child. Asha is adopted by Somer and her husband, Krishnan, who happens to also be Indian. The story follows the families as Asha grows up and eventually decides to spend some time in India for herself. The dominant theme throughout the book is motherhood and what it means; it's about the feeling of belonging that we all desire; it's about culture and the differences between the two (Indian and American). The main viewpoints are from the mothers, Somer and Kavita, as well as a little from Krishnan's mother. We also hear from Krishnan, and sometimes the biological father, Jasu.

I loved Secret Daughter and was engrossed in not just the story but the discussion of motherhood and of womanhood, in general. And you don't need to be a mother to enjoy the topic, either, because it's about the different types of mothers out there and is presented in a very universal way. I actually read this book a while ago and am just now getting around to finishing this review so I don't remember as much as I wished I could to write this. But this is definitely a great read and will give you a lot to think or talk about!

12 comments:

Sandy Nawrot said...

I've not heard a bad thing about this one. I don't know that I would have picked it up otherwise...

Mrs Q Book Addict said...

I LOVED, LOVED this book! I'm so glad that your enjoyed it too.

Meg @ A Bookish Affair said...

I really like adoption stories. This one has been on my TBR list for awhile. I just haven't gotten to it yet.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

This sounds very compelling because Indian stories are so interesting to me. Like Sandy, I've only heard good things about this one!

Reads4Pleasure said...

I've been on the fence about reading this too. I think you've firmly pushed me over to the "must read" side.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

This sounds really really good. Now that I'm a mom, I love books that discuss motherhood. Great review.

Zibilee said...

I have read a lot of great reviews of this book, and am so glad that you loved it. It seems like it would be a story that lots of women could relate to, and I am looking forward to reading it now that it has your seal of approval!

Heather @ Book Addiction said...

I loved this one too! So glad you decided to pick it up after all.

Athira said...

I've heard so much about this one book! It makes me want to get my hands on it right away. If only my library had it.

nomadreader said...

I loved this one too! My book club picked it to read last month, and it was universally enjoyed--quite a rarity for us!

Booksnyc said...

I loved this book - it was in my Top 10 of 2011! Glad you liked it too!

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

I agree. I loved this book as well. It's been awhile since I read and reviewed it but it's still one of my favorite books from the past year or so. :)

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