Moving and thought-provoking and informative and imaginative and beautifully executed. What a wonderful story!”—Mary Jane Clark “This book is a m. Read Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda for free with a 30 day free trial. Read unlimited* books and audiobooks on the web, iPad, iPhone and Android. Soft Copy of Book Secret Daughter author Shilpi Somaya Gowda completely free. Reviews of: Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda PDF Book 1st Review.
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Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. Gowda's debut novel opens in a small Indian village with a young woman giving birth to a baby girl. The father. Secret Daughter book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Somer's life is everything she imagined it would be — she's newl. Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda has descriptive copy which is not yet available from the Publisher., ISBN
It was really eye opening to see what life can be like in India. It was also great to see the journey that each one of the characters went on.
They all grew in some way. I cried at the end of the book, but it wasn't a bad cry. I would definitely recommend this book and will look for future books from this author.
Secret Daughter is a great book for book clubs. There are many things to talk about. Sally G.
The author takes you on a journey with Somer, a singular breadth of view, only child of well-to-do parents brought up in California and her meeting and marriage to Krishnan, a fellow intern that happens to be from India. Somer is not a bad person at all, but has the plight of an only child that has never had to share or compromise. The contrast is in the parallel story where we meet Kavita, an Indian woman that morns the loss of two daughters, one that she gives to an orphanage and one that dies.
As a mother-in-law she is judgmental but understanding of this new daughter-in-law and is portrayed as a wise woman and great grandmother. Secret Daughter has deep meanings of differences in old cultures.
Some can be ever so cruel but others are wonderful I know you will want to read and savor this powerful book of strong, smart women with so much food for thought and contemplation. Phoenix M. Asha isn't. Though her adoptive mother's surpression of her daughter's Indian heritage can be blamed for some of her ignorance, this young woman is a budding journalist.
Should she not have some global awareness of international issues, especially those that relate to the country in which she works? It is hard to be patient with her as she slowly matures through the time she spends in India. When she finally comes around, it almost feels too late. I felt the same frustration with Somer.
The character is instantly unlikeable, ignorant and dismissive of her husband's heritage. She realizes of all that she has seen in the slums, how easily she could have been one of those children. She doesn't seek them out, not knowing what she will get from them.
But she leaves the letter for them, out of a reflection on who she is, and that she will satisfy their curiosity about her. She loves them too, in her own sense, just as they do her. Think about it, Kavita doesn't seek out information from the orphanage until she sends Jasu, possibly while she is on her deathbed.
She had her own demons about the whole affair, in her life. Asha managed hers by leaving the letter, but not seeking them out. Does that help? See all 5 questions about Secret Daughter…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews.
Showing Rating details. Sort order. Not a bad story, but too superficially rendered for my taste. Kavita, a poor village woman, has just given birth to an infant daughter she names Usha. Terrified that her husband will murder the daughter because she's a girl, she journeys to Mumbai to place Usha in an orphanage. Meanwhile, Somer and Krishnan, a California couple struggling with infertility, decide to adopt an Indian orphan and end up with Usha. The book follows the twists and turns in these characters' lives as Kavita and her Meh.
The book follows the twists and turns in these characters' lives as Kavita and her family experience changes of location and fortune and Somer and Krishnan raise Usha whom they call Asha who eventually seeks her roots in India. There were moments in this book which resonated and smacked of psychological complexity.
Somer initially finds it difficult to bond with her new infant; Kavita comes to appreciate her husband despite his flaws; Kavita's husband eventually regrets and examines his zealousness to get rid of his infant daughter. But for the most part, the story was told in a way that seemed almost rushed as it spanned two decades.
I didn't feel that I got to know any of the characters; the vicissitudes in their relationships and fortunes passed me by without my getting caught up in them. Where I often find myself complaining about the slow pacing in books, this was a case where the rapidity with which events unfolded precluded my feeling anything about them. It wasn't a bad book, but the fact that it could have been so much better than it was made for a disappointing reading experience.
Not to mention the high goodreads rating and site's placing it on a list of Best Books of View all 15 comments. View all 5 comments. Aug 07, Jacquie rated it it was ok. I personally can't understand why. In , an Indian woman named Kavita gives birth to a baby girl. Fearful that her husband, Jasu, will dispose of this baby the same way he did to their first daughter, Kavita and her sister deliver this baby to an orphanage in Bombay, but tell Jasu that the baby died in the night.
Kavita mourns for her secret daughter even while raising her third child, the long-awaited son, and while learning to accept her husband for who he is. The baby, named Asha, grows up to be a promising journalist, and wins an internship with a major newspaper in India, so she travels to her country of birth for the first time and lives with her father's family, who are strangers to her.
She of course seeks out her birth parents, but she never meets them face-to-face, finally coming to accept that her adopted family has given her everything she needs. This book should have been a powerful and emotional read. True, it sheds light on the complexities of family, as well as the terrible living conditions that many Indians suffer. However, any child growing up in twenty-first century North America should be somewhat aware of the devastating contrast between living in India and living in North America.
Though her adoptive mother's surpression of her daughter's Indian heritage can be blamed for some of her ignorance, this young woman is a budding journalist. Should she not have some global awareness of international issues, especially those that relate to the country in which she works? It is hard to be patient with her as she slowly matures through the time she spends in India.
When she finally comes around, it almost feels too late.
I felt the same frustration with Somer. The character is instantly unlikeable, ignorant and dismissive of her husband's heritage. Any sympathy the reader feels for her struggles with infertility are instantly erased when she arrives in Indian and labels the men "disgusting pigs". She, like her daughter, experiences an epiphany in the error of her ways, but she is in her mid-fifties at this point, after almost thirty years married to an Indian man.
It is much too late. I could go on about my thoughts on the other characters, but I don't want to drag this out. Besides, every reader should form his or her unbiased opinion. I unfortunately found every character two-dimensional and unrealistic View all 4 comments. Jun 25, Shayantani Das rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Jhumpa Lahiri fans..
Such a beautiful story!! Kavita and Jasu are a poor but loving couple living in the rural town of Dhanau, India. In a society that favors boys and considers girls as a burden, Kavita has to give up her daughter to an orphanage, to protect her life. And thus begins this really touching tale of their lives and the Such a beautiful story!! And thus begins this really touching tale of their lives and the daughter who binds them.
There are numerous things that could have gone wrong with this story. Or it could have got really preachy and irritating. But somehow, the author created a beautiful balance between all the factors to give us this amazing story. What I really loved about this book was that every character was allowed to present its point of view. The society, the mindset, which views girls as a burden, was well portrayed.
India was neither glorified nor overly ridiculed. In fact, the author has painted a very true picture of this country. Truly, it is a land of many contradictions. The story also has one of the best ending I have read recently.
It just couldn't have been better. It really gave you closure, and that nice giddy feeling you get after reading a nice book. I remember smiling for a very long time after finishing it. Truly amazing. Oct 03, Tara Chevrestt rated it it was amazing Recommended to Tara by: This is a story that beautifully and creatively tackles many controversial issues.
Between Somer and Krishnan, we have an interracial marriage. Issue one Krishnan, an Indian man and Somer, a caucasian woman, think nothing of the difference in their cultures until a trip to India shows Somer the world from which Krishnan comes from.
She does a double take and wonders how well she really knows her husband. Issue two: Somer wants to have a baby so bad but her body does not agree with This is a story that beautifully and creatively tackles many controversial issues. Somer wants to have a baby so bad but her body does not agree with her. After adopting a little girl, Asha from India, she begins to wonder if some women just aren't meant for motherhood.
Can she do this?
Can she love and understand a child that does not come from her own womb? Issue three is foreign adoption. Asha grows up questioning her parentage. What is her homeland like? Who are her real parents? When reading her parts, readers witness the daily inner turnmoil an adopted child faces, the feeling of being unwanted, the questions, the being "stuck" between two cultures. Where do I belong? Issue four and possibly the biggest issue of all is the practice of killing young baby daughters in India.
The poor do not want daughters because they can't work in the fields and require a dowry later in life. How many tiny, unmarked graves are scattered throughout India? Also addressed is the Indian caste system. While watching Asha grow up in America with all the spoils of American children, readers all see what is going on in the other side of the world with Asha's biological parents as they stuggle to make a life in Bombay, to rise above oppression and try and try again to "step up" a class or two.
Will making ends meet be enough? Thru their eyes, we see the slums of India, the drugs, the gangs. When a grown Asha heads to India for a year, she has many questions and no answers. Will she leave India with answers and if so, will they be the answers she wants?
Will she find her biological parents or will all these people go thru their lives without meeting? An even stronger question is: Can either mother let go? A beautiful story closely following the lives of four very different people. I found myself thinking of these people even when I wasn't reading the book. I especially enjoyed the in depth look at life in India. It beats watching an espisode of Taboo anyday.
Highly recommended. They're not gonna make a deal. For what? A light beer and blue jeans? View all 3 comments. Apr 24, Patty rated it it was ok. There's been a lot of buzz about this book but I found it to be an airport paperback tarted up as literature. In India a poor woman hands her daughter over to an orphanage rather then risk her being killed as daughters aren't valued. In America, a physician and her India-born doctor husband decide to adopt a daughter the abandoned girl when attempts to conceive a child fail.
The author bounces back and forth between the two mothers and while the tale of the Indian woman who overcomes grindin There's been a lot of buzz about this book but I found it to be an airport paperback tarted up as literature. The author bounces back and forth between the two mothers and while the tale of the Indian woman who overcomes grinding poverty to have a son and a decent marriage is interesting for its insight into Indian life, the chapters about the American couple make them seem like whiners motherhood is hard!
There's a bit of tension when the grown daughter goes to India to work and look for her birth parents but this book suffers from having being read on the heels of Audrey Niffenegger whose prose was so descriptive and other-worldly. I don't find Shilpi Somaya Gowda to be a particularly good writer. She resorts to cliches and this is more aptly described as a 'beach book. Emotionally impacting, culture intense, and intricately engaging. What exactly drives us to be who we are?
Like what we like? Do what we do? As an adoptee, myself, those types of questions burned through my mind from adolescence onward, just as they did for Kavita's daughter and Somer's daughter.
Along with other questions, too: Who do I look like? Where are my people from? Why did my mother and father give me away? Was I a financial burden? Or simply an inconvenience? Or were my parents deemed unfit, or too young, or scandalously unmarried? And why, when I pose these questions to my adopted mother, does she respond so vehemently defensive, vague, and obtuse; as if wounded and rejected, herself.
I've spent sixteen years not knowing, sixteen years asking questions nobody can answer. I just don't feel like I really belong, in this family or anywhere. It's like a piece of me is always missing. Don't you understand that? As this richly heartfelt story unfolds, she takes readers into the hearts of three main characters Kavita, Somer, Asha - in addition to a few key support characters - through their distinct voices, hearts, worldviews, hopes, dreams, faiths, doubts, fears, joys, and cultures.
We discover: I can't think of a more perfect book I could have read after my recent reunion with my sister, Sherrie Miller. My beautiful, bodacious, birth sister! After fifty-three years of separation, having no clue where on earth I genetically originated from, I finally identified and found all my maternal birth siblings.
See Hanna Family Tree in my photos - aren't we a lovely bunch??? It has been a joyous, overwhelming and exiting experience connecting with my birth family - in addition to remaining connected to my wonderful adopted sister too. But what story does? Everyone's story is uniquely their own. That's one of the joys of reading: The story is engaging and clearly communicated. Gowda richly painted Indian culture depicting the many complex facets of economics, living centers, family dynamics, faith, beliefs, customs, and language.
I found the glossary in the back ever so helpful.