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The Secret Daughter (2010)

by Shilpi Somaya Gowda(Favorite Author)
3.95 of 5 Votes: 3
0062200941 (ISBN13: 9780062200945)
review 1: I wanted to love this book. I really did. There were times I liked it, but it just left me wanting it to be better. The characters were never really fully developed. I never felt like I really *knew* them. Everything just moved quickly from point A to B. It felt a bit like the author had a timeline of events and wanted to hit each one, instead of letting the the story and characters really evolve into their own. That being said, I'm still glad I read it. There were times (mostly before the halfway point) that I wanted to give up. I was engaged and curious enough to stick it through to the end. Like quite a few others, I don't think this book lived up to its hype.
review 2: Kavita and Jasu Merchant live in a poor village in India where they are barely
... more scraping a living. When Kavita gives birth to another daughter, she knows that she must give the baby up for adoption to ensure her survival. With the help of the midwife and her sister, Kavita makes the arduous journey to a Mumbai orphanage. All she has to give the baby is a name, Usha, a small bracelet, and her tears. In the United States, Somer, an American pediatrician, discovers that she cannot have children. Gradually she is persuaded by her husband Krishnan to adopt a baby from India. That baby is Usha, now renamed Asha. As the years go by, their story is told through the eyes of Kavita who has never stopped missing her daughter, Somer who is struggling in her marriage and relationship with her daughter, and Asha who finds a way to bridge the gap between both worlds.I loved everything about this book. Kavita's story is so touching and sad yet she is a strong and resilient woman, living in a poor village and later the slums of Mumbai. Somer comes from a markedly different world as a well-to-do doctor in California yet it is moving to see her as a new mom trying to bridge the culture gap between herself and her Indian husband. Asha is a caring and special young woman, a blend of both her mothers. I would highly recommend this novel to book clubs and to those who enjoy the novels of Jhumpa Lahiri, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Amy Tan, and Khaled Hosseini. I would also recommend it to anyone who likes to read beautifully written stories about mothers, daughters, and families. Shilpi Somaya Gowda is an author to watch. less
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This book is about a baby girl born in India and adopted to an American couple. It is the story of the girl, her biological parents and her adopted parents. The Indian side of the story was interesting and made me want to read more about the Indian culture. The American side of the story was full of very shallow character development and annoying characters. About 1/4th through the book, I looked to see how much I had left to read and was filled with dread at having to read 3/4's more of this book. I would say at around the 3/4 point, the story got a little better, but then it ended with a nice tidy ending. This book was very unrealistic, and the way the story was told with some time periods of the girl taking chapters and chapters and others being unacknowledged left me feeling like I really did not know the girl at all. She is a baby...then suddenly a teenager? What happened there? If you love the Indian culture or relate personally to adoption stories, you may enjoy this book.
There is much to love about this book:As someone who's experienced miscarriage, this author really seemed to get it and she wrote about it so well. I've never been to India but I've been in Ethiopia, so I could imagine some of the smells and situations she describes.She doesn't Hollywood end the book (or Bollywood for that matter!), but does complete the stories.It is an easy short read with small chapters that dart between US and India, but not confusingly. I read half in the bath last night and the other half tonight. Really am on a book binge!
Easy read, interesting look at life in India.
Review to come.
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