Monday, July 26, 2010

Review by Lauren - The Secret Daughter

The Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda

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. 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.

First Impressions: I picked The Secret Daughter up on a recommendation by another staff member who had just started it, but had been really enjoying it.

Asha is adopted at the age of one after her family could not afford to keep a daughter in their household. She is raised by two american doctors, her father Indian and her mother Caucasian. The Secret Daughter takes place both in India and America, with a variety of different perspectives throughout the story.

I read The Secret Daughter very quickly. It's not a perticularly small book, but I was interested in the story for the most part. The beginning and middle were great, but I found that the second half of it started to slow down a bit and I kept waiting for something monumental to happen. Other than that, I definitely enjoyed the characters, the plot, and also the indian culture shown in the novel.

Final Impressions: A great, interesting story highlighting the values we place on family and identity.


  1. Awesome review! :) I'm not sure if this is something I would like or not... but maybe I'll check it out.

  2. Excellent review! I might try this one.


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