My review of Secret Daughter
September 29, 2010 Leave a comment
Shilpi Somaya Gowda’s amazing novel, Secret Daughter fits nicely into spot number 15 of my “26 in 52 Challege“, where I *hope* to get through 26 books this calendar year. At the pace I’m going I’ll probably reach 22 or 23 if I’m lucky; stranger things have happened though..
Secret Daughter takes place in sunny California and sweltering Mumbai, India. It tells the story of two mothers and their daughter. Kavita was left no other tolerable option but to give up her daughter Usha to the orphanage in Mumbai, which was a long way from her small village. Somer was unable to have children, which explained who two previous mis-carriages. The rest of the novel goes on to explain how Somer and her husband came to adopting Usha-turned-Asha, and how Kavita forever regretted her decision to abandon her daughter, visiting the orphanage on her breaks in the hope of seeing her long-lost daughter.
Gowda is a great storyteller. I found it hard to put this one down because her characters, descriptions, language was so seamless. Her small explanations of Gujarati words, which I personally liked having in the book, could have easily disrupted the flow, but she interlaced them nicely throughout so as not to overwhelm the reader. Kavita and Somer had such troubled lives, in very different ways, and it wasn’t very hard to feel for the pain they were going through.
In the end this was a unique novel dealing with many great topics such as international adoption, India’s issues with having baby girls and culture clashing between an interracial couple. If you pick this one up I’m sure you can find an issue that you or a close family member can relate to. I give Secret Daughter a 4/5.
In other news, this is my 100th post!