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Author: Shili Somaya Gowda
ISBN13: 978-0062089496
Title: Secret Daughter
Format: mbr lrf lrf azw
ePUB size: 1807 kb
FB2 size: 1396 kb
DJVU size: 1128 kb
Language: English
Publisher: William Morrow; First edition

Secret Daughter by Shili Somaya Gowda

Secret Daughter book. Shilpi Somaya Gowda has written a captivating first novel about the meaning of family, motherhood, adopti Secret Daughter is a story about people and the paths their lives take. The characters are real,interesting, flawed, and you care about them. At the same time, Somaya Gowda manages to paint an extraordinarily rich portrait of modern India – the sharp contrast between its poverty and wealth, its traditions and culture. I feel I’ve experienced something of India although I’ve never been there. Shilpi Somaya Gowda has written a captivating first novel about the meaning of family, motherhood,.

for giving much in their lives. so that anything might be possible in mine. He stormed out of the hut amid the cries of their daughter taking her first few breaths in this world. Kavita knew, in that terrible moment, they would also be her last. The midwife pushed her gently back down. Let him go, my child. Let him go now. It is done.

On the eve of the monsoons, in a remote Indian village, Kavita gives birth to a baby girl. But in a culture that favors sons, the only way for Kavita to save her newborn daughter's life is to give her away. Interweaving the stories of Kavita, Somer, and the child that binds both of their destinies, Secret Daughter poignantly explores the emotional terrain of motherhood, loss, identity, and love, as witnessed through the lives of two families-one Indian, one American-and the child that indelibly connects them.

Gowda weaves her tale deftly. Two worlds collide, then meld, in a story that intimately considers how we all are shaped, through fate or free will, nurture or nature, by the astounding power of family love. -Dallas Morning News. This book is a must ofr anyone touched by adoption or India or the delicate dynamic between adolescent girls and their mothers. Sujata Massey, author of Shimura Trouble). Secret Daughter is spellbinding. Readers will have a hard time putting this novel down. Desert News, Salt Lake City).

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The novel Secret Daughter, written by Shilpi Somaya Gowda, is a story about family relationships and the way in which each member’s choice impacts how the family lives. The novel is set in two locations, India and America, and focuses on the Thakkar family and the Merchant family over the years of 1984 to 2009. The three protagonists are Kavita Thakkar, Somer Merchant, and Asha Merchant. These three women make decisions that influence the family member’s actions and behaviour over time.

This is why a book like Secret Daughter, the debut novel from Mumbai native Shilpi Somaya Gowda, has the inherent potential to cast a human pallor upon a tragedy most Westerners are only familiar with via statistical data. In this case, the subject of choice is female infanticide among poor, working-class families in rural India.

n a tiny hut in rural India, Kavita gives birth to Asha. Unable to afford the 'luxury' of raising a daughter, her husband forces Kavita to give the baby up-a decision that will haunt them both for the rest of their lives.Halfway around the globe, Somer, an American doctor, decides to adopt a child after making the wrenching discovery that she will never have one of her own. When her husband Krishnan shows her a photo of baby Asha sent to him from a Mumbai orphanage, she falls instantly in love. As she waited for adoption to be finalized, she knew her life would change. But she was convinced that the love she already felt would overcome all obstacles.In a braided narrative that unites the stories of Kavita, Somer and Asha, SECRET DAUGHTER, the debut novel by Shilpi Somaya Gowda, explores the emotional terrain of motherhood, loss and belonging. As the story moves between the two families, one struggling to eke out an existence in Mumbai, the other grappling with the challenge of raising a brownskinned child from another culture, Gowda poignantly parses issues of culture, identity and familial loyalty
Reviews: 7
This was an amazing story of two families. One poor family in India who have a daughter that they know they can not keep due to economics. Kavita had one daughter taken from her already and can't bear to lose another. Secretly she walks miles and miles to Mumbai in order to take her to an orphanage. A few years later, Kavita and her husband move to Mumbai believing that they will be able to forge a much better life for themselves and the son that was finally born to them.

Another young Indian man left to attend medical school in the US. He meets and falls in love with a beautiful blonde haired California girl who is also attending medical schoool. They marry and make a trip to India so Somer can met her husband, Krishnan's family and so they can adopt a child since she has proven to be infertile. Somer finds India to be very disagreeable and does not want to return so Krishnan returns infrequently and by himself.

Asha, their adopted daughter does not want to be a physician, much to their dismay. She majors in English and wishes to be a journalist. She wins a much coveted internship at Brown and is given the chance to live in India for the year and write a story about the slums and the poor children who live their. She is looking forward to this because she wants to get to know her father's family and his culture. Krishnan is proud of his daughter and glad that she will get to know his relatives. Somer is very fearful that she will lose her daughter and is against her going. Asha and Somer clash badly before she leaves for India making Asha even happier that she is leaving.

The story is beautifully written and gives you a glimpse of what life is like in India for both the "haves" and the "have nots". It explores the feelings of an adopted child who wonders why her birth parents have given her up and what they are like. You see the troubles that even people who love each other can have when their cultures are so diverse. And you feel the haunting sorrow of a mother who every day wonders what has happened to the child that she had to give up. I am so happy that I stumbled across this book on a website and was introduced to this author. I am very interested in reading more that she has written.
We picked this book for our book club and although I had never heard of the book or the author, I was pleasantly surprised. The author drew me in right away and she takes us to India, a place I had never explored before in any other novel I have read. She obviously wrote about what she knew. Very impressed with the descriptions, sights, sounds and smells of all the places she takes her readers with thoughtful characters. The common theme in this book is motherhood and she pulls this story together nicely, although slightly predictable at times. Well worth the read and good book club discussion book!
just one girl
Ms. Gowda writes eloquently. Her characters are people that I felt I really knew and she has the ability to present them with their flaws as well as their better traits. She also writes dialogue realistically. There is a universality to this story that we can all understand; it's the love of a parent for a child and the desire to make certain that her life will be better than our own.

This story's locales are the US and India. I finished this novel feeling that I can better understand the culture and have a better appreciation for its history, customs, and people.
As a mother, I was moved by the stories of both mothers - the one who gave up her daughter, and the one who raised her. It was also a story of the grandmothers, sons, and fathers, as well as a story of India and the US. It was a story of intellectual capacity, developed and used in different ways based on the expectations of society. I like fiction which allows you to understand emotional connections in a way that is usually impossible because real people do not discuss their emotions.
At first, I didn't like this book because of the opening scene. It is hard for me to read about cruelty towards children and about a culture that aborts and throws away their daughters while holding up their sons like royalty. And, yet, I was hooked. I needed to know what happened to that baby girl that was left at an orphanage in India. In the end, I learned more about international adoption and what it does to the hearts of those involved, the mothers who must give away their daughters in hopes of a better life for them, the mothers from other countries who long to hold that baby in their own arms and hold her up like royalty, and the girls who are born into and grow up in those families. In the end, I cared about these people so much that I cried for them, and understood their actions a little better. I listened to this book on Audible. It is an excellent book to hear read aloud, lots of dialogue and just enough description to give me a good understanding of the settings. Also, the reader was excellent.
This is a story both about learning the true meaning of family and about learning how to grow/earn forgiveness. That probably sounds a bit cheesy but its true and it was good.

I wouldn't call this an "easy" read since it deals with adoption and cultural identity but I found it easy to fall into (if that's how you would describe it?).

I found some characters were able to genuinely earn my forgiveness (because I know they care so much about that) through personal growth. They truly redeemed themselves. At the beginning I found so many of the characters to be contemptible or annoying so it was refreshing to change my mind (at least a little) by the end.
A very engrossing revealing book about 2 mothers whose cultures are worlds apart. One an infertile successful Doctor. Tho other an impoverished Indian who places her daughter in an orphanage to save her life. The story is told in parallels between the two women. Then with the daughter as she makes her first trip to India as a college student. I learned much about India, it's culture and poverty in its lowest forms. The author is able to make so many feeling come through making me cry about what I was reading. This is a book that I will not soon forget.