Book review: “Secret Daughter” by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
Posted Sep 11 2012 7:00am
I have an amazing book to talk about today. I started reading Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda a few weeks ago in hopes of making it in time to finish before a book club meetup. Unfortunately, the meetup time changed to a Wednesday evening – the only day where I’m swamped with classes all day. Literally, I have a class until 830pm. Kinda exhausting. But anyway, this was the book for the month of September. I am so glad I read it. It is one of the best books I have read. It’s so unbelievably honest, true, and touching, it’s note-worthy. Here’s a blurb from Amazon about the book:
Somer’s life is everything she imagined it would be—she’s newly married and has started her career as a physician in San Francisco—until she makes the devastating discovery she never will be able to have children.
The same year in India, a poor mother makes the heartbreaking choice to save her newborn daughter’s life by giving her away. It is a decision that will haunt Kavita for the rest of her life, and cause a ripple effect that travels across the world and back again.
Asha, adopted out of a Mumbai orphanage, is the child that binds the destinies of these two women. We follow both families, invisibly connected until Asha’s journey of self-discovery leads her back to India.
Compulsively readable and deeply touching, Secret Daughter is a story of the unforeseen ways in which our choices and families affect our lives, and the indelible power of love in all its many forms.
I am usually wary of reading books that I don’t think I could relate to. This book was totally out of my comfort zone – it covered a lot about a culture entirely new to me and about issues that do not pertain me as I am too young. But this book hit home. I became truly engaged, so engaged that I shed a few tears when it ended. It felt so genuine throughout, I can’t recall a time in the past few months where I was this connected to the book – it was as if I was reading a nonfiction piece on someone really close to me. It was unbelievably well written even though it captures so many different points of view on life. It talks about life in three different points of view – a struggling family in India, a well-off family in India, and a new family in America with ties to India. All of the three come together so beautifully. It teaches us some deep lessons about family ties and the importance of knowing where we come from as well as appreciating what we have. I SO SO recommend you read this book.