Lee M. (Creve Coeur, Missouri)
Have you ever reached the middle of a book and vowed to reread it again? That happened to me when I read "Secret Daughter" by Shilpi Somaya Gowda. From the small village in India to the California coast she has analyzed the various and wondrous aspects of the feelings we call love. The relationships between husband and wife, mother and daughter, and father and daughter are richly described. You feel the heat and color of India, the richness of California, but most important the pain and joy of family! Pure love at its best.
Ann L. (Arnold, MD)
Good story, parts of book which took place in India were excellent. The dialogue in the beginning was a little stilted but improved throughout the book as well as the writing style. The character of Asha was excellent and well developed. I liked Kativa and the grandmother also. But Somer seemed somewhat artificial and lacking in depth. There might have been too many issues covered in the book and better to focus on just a few. However, I kept on thinking about parts of the book that took place in Mumbai after I finished reading it and that for me is the sign of a good book.
I was unable to put this book down. It had everything........plot, interesting characters, location, and a rewarding ending. This is for anyone interested in learning about other cultures, and the emotional turmoil of motherhood.
Mary Lou C. (Shenandoah Junction, WV)
Secret Daughter is a tale of two worlds. It is filled with despair, yet ever hopeful. The author captures the complexities of blending two very different cultures, made more challenging with adoption. It is a story for and about women, and you quickly connect with the characters. Despite the misery and destitution the author shares with you, the story is uplifting and optimistic. The strength and common bond of motherhood and "family" is evident no matter what culture or setting. The women in this story are inspiring and resilient. I highly recommend this book.
Susan J. (Twain Harte, CA)
I couldn't put down this book!
"Secret Daughter" transported me to another world in the way of "Shanghai Girls", "Honolulu", "Cutting for Stone", "The Help", and "On the Corner of Bitter and Sweet", but in addition this book engaged me on a deep emotional level. My only regret is that it could have been expanded by not skipping ahead in time so often. I wanted to know so much more about these families. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well-written, gripping story, and especially to those who can relate to living in two cultures or to the complex issues of adoption. I know I would have loved this book anyway, even if I didn't have a three-year old granddaughter adopted from Kolkata.
Anna R. (Oak Ridge, TN)
Secret Daughter is a story of love, contrast of cultures and family conflict. The depth of understanding in the book is so touching. The unconditional love of a Mother for her child and what she will do for that chld is a focal point.
The contract of cultures in India is expressed vividly. There is so much in this book that would be wonderful for discussion with any book group. I will recommend it to mine. After I started the book I couldn't put it down. It is a winner!