What I’m Reading: Secret Daughter

What I'm Reading

Today is my first book review post, so please don’t judge me by the horribleness of this post! I don’t think I’ve done a book review since my university program, and even then it was a crappy attempt. But – I shall try and see where this leads me! I even made a button and everything!

Secret Daughter
By Shipli Somaya Gowda

From Amazon.ca:
“On the eve of the monsoons, in a remote Indian village, Kavita gives birth to Asha. But in a culture that favours sons, the only way for Kavita to save her newborn daughter’s life is to give her away. It is a decision that will haunt her and her husband for the rest of their lives, even after the arrival of their cherished son.
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 she and her husband Krishnan see a photo of baby Asha from a Mumbai orphanage, they are overwhelmed with emotion for her. Somer knows life will change with the adoption, but is convinced that the love they already feel will overcome all obstacles.
Interweaving the stories of Kavita, Somer, and Asha, “Secret Daughter” poignantly explores issues of culture and belonging. Moving between two worlds and two families, one struggling to survive in the fetid slums of Mumbai, the other grappling to forge a cohesive family despite their diverging cultural identities, this powerful debut novel marks the arrival of a fresh talent poised for great success.”

I’ve always enjoyed books that tell stories through different people, and Secret Daughter was wonderful to read. With each chapter rotating through the stories of each character, it was hard not to put the book down! Plus, the chapters were shorter than your average book – much easier to read I find!

Now – when I first heard about this book I was skeptical. I know there’s a lot of politics behind child birth in India and I was afraid of a more political book, but that wasn’t the case at all! Gowda really connects you to the characters and helps you relate in some way or another, whether you’re far from home, a working mom, trying to make your way in life, trying to have a child, or trying to make a difference.

Now, Gowda writes each chapter in either the eyes of Somer, the America woman, Kavita, the Indian wife, Somer’s India-born turn-American educated husband, Kavita’s husband Jasu, and the girl who brings them togetherr: Asha.

I think I enjoyed reading Kavita’s chapters of the books the most. To be a woman in India, as it appears, is an extremely difficult thing to do. If you’re not tossed aside at birth or aborted because you’re a girl, you live a life of devotion to your husband. Kavita’s story is heartbreaking, and I couldn’t help but feel so horrible for the women in India who have had to give up their child because of poverty or simply because their husbands don’t want a girl.

If you really want an eye-opening book, I recommend this one. I really couldn’t put it down!

Have you read it? What are your thoughts on it?
Is it on your “list” of books to read? 

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