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  • Writer's pictureGaili Schoen

Secret Daughter

San Francisco doctors Somer and her Indian-American husband Krishnan are not able to conceive, and they travel to his native India to adopt a baby girl. This book explores the complicated feelings surrounding the adoption primarily from the point of view of the three women most deeply affected: Somer, her daughter Asha, and Asha's biological mother, Kavita. This story isn't quite as elegantly told as some other books that describe life in India with more colorful details, such as Heavenly Hirani's School of Laughing Yoga and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, however Asha's experience interviewing Indian mothers in a Dharavi slum gives some poignant insight into how poor, yet brave and loving Indian mothers cope. The unfolding of how Somer's and Kavita's families heal after years of disconnection and estrangement rings true and softens the blow of a somewhat unfullfilled ending. Beautiful debut novel by Shilpi Somaya Gowda, who drew me into the story immediately. I look forward to reading her more recent works. Paperback 383 pages, Audiobook 11 hours, 25 minutes.


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