Friday, January 9, 2015

Review - Secret Daughter

Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
Genres: Contemporary; Cultural
My rating: 3 stars
Average Goodreads rating: 3.95 stars
Pages: 339

From Goodreads: 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.
My review:
Before I started reading, I thought this book would get a higher rating from me. From the description it sounded like it would be a very emotional read and I thought I would really enjoy it. But, while I did like it, I had a few qualms.
During the first half of the book I found myself thinking, "where is this going?" Don't get me wrong--it was very well written, and I could sympathize with the characters in their plights. But the story kind of dragged for me. Luckily, it picked up, bringing what would have been a 2 star rating to a solid 3.
The time jumps and point-of-view switching made some parts a bit confusing to read, but I think the end made it worth it. I think the most interesting part of the book was seeing Asha as a young woman, making her own way. I loved the ending. It was a unique end to a touching story.
Content:  Mild profanity; mention of a rape-nondescript


  1. Ally, First of all, thank you so much for the goodreads link -- I just added it!
    Since middle grade, I've enjoyed reading about different cultures, and I believe this has helped me develop into a culturally sensitive mental health worker. I look forward to checking Secret Daughter out.