Thursday, February 4, 2010

Review #6 Secret Daughter

Secret Daughter
By Shilpi Somaya Gowda
Publication date: March 9, 2010
Rating: *****

My review:

Kavita and Jasu Merchant live in a poor village in India where they are barely scraping a living. When Kavita gives birth to another daughter, she knows that she must give the baby up for adoption to ensure her survival. With the help of the midwife and her sister, Kavita makes the arduous journey to a Mumbai orphanage. All she has to give the baby is a name, Usha, a small bracelet, and her tears. In the United States, Somer, an American pediatrician, discovers that she cannot have children. Gradually she is persuaded by her husband Krishnan to adopt a baby from India. That baby is Usha, now renamed Asha. As the years go by, their story is told through the eyes of Kavita who has never stopped missing her daughter, Somer who is struggling in her marriage and relationship with her daughter, and Asha who finds a way to bridge the gap between both worlds.
I loved everything about this book. Kavita's story is so touching and sad yet she is a strong and resilient woman, living in a poor village and later the slums of Mumbai. Somer comes from a markedly different world as a well-to-do doctor in California yet it is moving to see her as a new mom trying to bridge the culture gap between herself and her Indian husband. Asha is a caring and special young woman, a blend of both her mothers. I would highly recommend this novel to book clubs and to those who enjoy the novels of Jhumpa Lahiri, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Amy Tan, and Khaled Hosseini. I would also recommend it to anyone who likes to read beautifully written stories about mothers, daughters, and families. Shilpi Somaya Gowda is an author to watch.
Disclosure: I received an ARC of this book for review purposes.


  1. thanks for referring me to your review. it sounds like an amazing book - great review.

  2. Great review! It sounds really good. Thanks for introducing me to new books!

  3. I've never heard of this book, and I probably wouldn't pick this one up. I don't usually read books with foreign characters. Mainly because I have trouble pronouncing their names in my head and because I can't relate to their culture.

    But this one does sound interesting. Thanks for the review and introducing me to the book.

  4. I've never heard of this book but I think it's really interesting because I don't see a lot of blogs review foreign books (or have foregin characters)and I'm Indian myself. I can't really relate to their culture all that well because I've lived in the US for so long! but great review! hahaha, how did the name pronouncing go?


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