"No one can be lonely who has a book for company." ~ Nelle Reagan

Friday, April 29, 2011

Book Review: Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda

Secret Daughter
Author:  Shilpi Somaya Gowda
Copyright: 2010
Publisher:  William Morrow (an imprint of Harper Collins publishers)
Pages:  346, including a prologue and foreign terms glossary
Genre:  family relations/fiction
ISBN  978-0-06-197430-4
Source:  a gift from a friend

(from the cover) "On the eve of the monsoons, in a remote Indian village, Kavita gives birth to a baby girl.  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 the baby with the gold-flecked eyes from a Mumbai orphanage, they are overwhelmed with emotion.  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 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."

My Review:  
Shilpi Somaya Gowda weaves an extraordinary tale in Secret Daughter.  From page one, the reader is captivated.  Shilpi creates characters with incredible depth which allows the reader to develop a "relationship" and, totally immersed within the pages, the characters become real.  Based on her heritage of India, the author introduces the reader to culture, society, and individuals who will remain with you long after you've read the book.

I enjoyed the peak into the life of India, the culture, the difficulties, the slums, and the prosperous.  Combine this with a young couple; one of whom is American born, one India born; both doctors, who cannot have children of their own.  As their efforts prove in vain, they consider adoption.  Herein is their story, the story of their daughter from India, and the family in her home country who couldn't keep her.  At times drawing tears, this story is heartwarming and endearing.  A must read for mothers, daughters, and those who love them.  

The reader will leave this novel, Secret Daughter, understanding no sacrifice is too great when you love someone.

Rated 5/5!


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"Summer is coming quickly - what 2011 summer release are you are most looking forward to?"

I am looking forward to the movie release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, and The Help but as far as book releases go I am yearning for the release of the new Stephen King novel 11/22/63 which won't be released until November.  


  1. I read a not-so great review about Secret Daughter last year. Wonder why? I came across the book multiple times and did not pick it up...

    Maybe with your 5 on 5 I must give it a chance. Thanx for the awesome review.

  2. Oh that movie will be EPIC!!!!

    - Kylie

  3. Interesting looking book. I love to be able to find out more about different cultures. Thanks for the review.

  4. This sounds really good, thanks for the review.

    I too am looking forward to the last Harry Potter film, and somewhat looking towards The Help but no books I'm really looking forward to, I don't tend to follow releases

  5. Oh, I am eagerly anticipating The Help movie, too!

    And Stephen King is always drool-worthy.


  6. Stranger's Daughter is my favourite read for 2011!! Love it!!

  7. Great review! I just read an article on msnbc.com about this subject -- it'sis very relevent right now.

  8. This has been my favorite book of the year. Kavyen, I can't believe any review of Secret Daughter would be less than stellar. And now Costco and Target are selling it. Clearly, Gowda's book is getting noticed more and more. Can't wait for her next book. Hope this gets made into a movie.

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