Elizabeth K. (glenshaw, PA)
This is a wonderful heart warming multicultural story that spans 20 years. Readers will enjoy reading and discussing the difference in American and modern Indian cultures. The common thread of love of a child will appeal to all ages. The glossary at the back of the books is helpful.
Barbara C. (Riverside, CA)
The Facets of Family
Seeing India and Mumbai from the points of view of so many people made it a feel-good sociological study. Who could not fall in love with Asha from the day she was born? These were real people and the writing improved as the book went along. I have a soft heart and I wasn't disappointed. I have never wanted to go to India, but now I am not so sure.
Maria P. (Washington, DC)
The Past is Another Country
Many themes are presented in this memorable novel. In Secret Daughter the past is a foreign country, a country of extremes where a newborn child can be cast off and another revered for its gender. Adoption provides solutions but no ultimate answer. The past requires a visit so that we can truly see the present for what it really is, our home, our families and our earth.
Katharine K. (Alpine, CA)
I REALLY enjoyed this book. It is one of those books that ends each chapter in such a way that you want to read on. I finished it in two days. I think it would be a good book club choice because it presents lots to talk about. It offers the perspective from two different cultures and shows how much misunderstanding there can be when both sides are not open to learn. It also explores the emotions of families of mixed cultures, via marriage and adoption. In this day and age, with the world getting very small, this book offers lots to think about and, even more important, talk about.
Dorothy T. (Victorville, CA)
Heartbreak and Hope
The loss of a child takes varied forms, but each is a cause of unspeakable grief and heartache. The Secret Daughter enlightens us about a place and a culture that might be unfamiliar to some readers, but the essence of the story is that loss, whether it comes as a result of miscarriage, sacrifice, or life decisions. But I was not left with a sense of hopelessness, rather just the opposite. The author handles all this with great skill and a style that kept me involved with the characters and their story to the very end. I encourage anyone who likes engaging fiction with a chance to learn something about India and its culture to read this one: it will stay with you long after you finish the last page.
Judy G. (Carmel, IN)
Secret Daughter--successful dual storytelling
This debut novelist has accomplished a great deal with her first novel through excellent character development for Asha & Kavita, the main characters. The descriptions of Asha's family in India transport the reader to the sights, sounds and smells of the country. The descriptions, seen through the eyes of Asha, an American despite her birthright, are particularly moving. This is a book easy to read, practically straight through, and to leave with a fully satisfied experience. I hope she writes more novels!
Review of Shilpi Somaya Gowda's "Secret Daughter"
The characters confront infanticide, violence, poverty, childlessness, infertility, adoption, illness, loss, and marital problems. I think the story and the writing are a bit elementary and uninspired. I recommend this book to those who like to learn how people live in other parts of the world.