Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda

Once in a while I pick up a book and think, "This is what books should be like!"  Well written, an interesting story, not patronizing, true to character and situation...this was one of those books.  Seriously, one of the best books I've read recently.  I had no pre-conceived notions about this book coming in.  It was simply a book that looked interesting to me.  The book centres around Asha, a girl given up for adoption secretly in India.  She is adopted by a couple of doctors in America (the mother a Californian-American, the father and Indian immigrant whose family is still in India).  The story is more than just Asha's.  It is also Kavita's, her birth mother grieving her first born also a girl, taken from her at birth to infantcide.  It is also about Jasu, her biological father who knows naught what happened to this daughter (he is under the impression that she died shortly after birth).  It also tells Somer's story, Asha's adoptive mother who isn't quite happy with the way her life turned out.  She doesn't connect to her husband's heritage and homeland.  Krishan, Asha's adoptive father is torn between his love of living the American dream and his memories of his Indian upbringing.
The story is told in year clips, skipping 5 years here and there, so you get glimpses rather than a full unfolding.  In the middle of all of this is Asha, wondering about her birth parents.  Wanting to be more like her school peers and wanting to know her home culture.  I highly recommend this book.

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