Sunday, February 01, 2015

Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda


Somer almost has it all. She's got a great career as a doctor, a nice house, and a fabulous husband. What Somer doesn't have is a child. When she finds out she is not able to have kids, husband Kris suggests adopting from his home of India. The two end up adopting Asha, who was given up by her family because she was a girl, and take her back to America. Somer can't really relate to the Indian culture and has concerns about Asha wanting to find her real mother but tries to suppress these as she raises her daughter.

As Asha grows up, Somer and Kris grow apart. Asha gets a chance to travel to India for a year in university to further her career as a journalist and jumps on the chance to learn about where she's from. The family breaks apart because Kris wants Asha to be a doctor and Somer doesn't want Asha to find her birth parents.

This story is told from each character's perspective, including the birth parents Kavita and Jasu. This is part of what makes this book so compelling. You're let in to each character's head to learn why they are doing what they are doing and, for the most part, you can understand their motivations. I felt bad for Somer and could understand her concerns with Asha going to India. The weird thing is that I felt guilty for feeling bad for Somer. She should have been accepting of her daughter searching for her roots. Perhaps the problem was in how Asha treated her mom before she left and trampled all over her feelings.

The ending of this book was well done. It wrapped up some items nicely, both other events you wanted to happen for the characters didn't. It felt real in that some things worked out and some things did not. I breezed through this book and quite enjoyed it.

First Line: "He clutches the worn slip of paper in his hands, trying to compare the letters written there to the red sign hanging on the door in front of him."


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