Secret Daughter : A Novel Paperback
"Moving and thought-provoking and informative and imaginative and beautifully executed. What a wonderful story!"-Mary Jane Clark "This book is a must for anyone touched by adoption, or India, or the delicate dynamic between adolescent girls and their mothers."-Sujata Massey, author of Shimura Trouble Secret Daughter, a first novel by Shilpi Somaya Gowda, explores powerfully and poignantly the emotional terrain of motherhood, loss, identity, and love through the experiences of two families-one Indian, one American-and the child that binds them together.
A masterful work set partially in the Mumbai slums so vividly portrayed in the hit film Slumdog Millionaire, Secret Daughter recalls the acclaimed novels of Kim Edwards and Thrity Umrigar, yet sparkles with the freshness of a truly exciting new literary voice.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 368 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Inc
- Publication Date: 01/04/2011
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780061928352
- Paperback from £6.59
- EPUB from £4.99
Showing 1 - 5 of 17 reviews.
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Review by janismack
Nice story, easy to read.
Review by pagei
This book shows what it means to be a family and what adoption is like from all parties involved.
Review by writestuff
Review by ethel55
Gowda has written a very poignant book about motherhood and the various shapes it takes. When two doctors are unable to conceive naturally, Cali girl Somer and her Indian husband Kris decide to adopt a baby from an orphanage is his hometown Bombay (Mumbai). Told in alternating views, the stories of Kavita, the baby's biological Indian mother, Somer, her adoptive mother and Asha herself come to life. The various pictures of the slices of life and time of these people are at times heartwrenching and uplifting. The book touches on many social issues that face India even now, with the overcrowding, slums, birthrate, but still highlights a strong matriarchal figure in Kris' mom Sarla.
Review by Citizenjoyce
The story is put together so perfectly, it's hard to believe this is a first novel. Gowda discusses sexual discrimination, culture clash, infertility, adoption, motherhood, marriage, families, regrets and reconsiderations never sounding gimmicky and always keeping the reader interested in the real people the characters could be. She mentions sexual selective abortions being done in India in a way that fits completely into the story while informing the reader of some of the consequences of India's "valuing some of her children more than others." One quote brought to mind an idea that I hadn't considered before, "Adoption cures childlessness but it doesn't cure infertility". I didn't know why Somer should have had such low self esteem, such inability to trust in her ability to mother, such rejection of her husband's culture because of her anger at him except for the fact that she couldn't forgive herself for her lack of "womanhood." I love the way the various characters wind around each other discovering new things about themselves and each other and each other's culture. This is a very satisfying, interesting even compelling book. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to know more about India, infertility, or family.
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