I received this book for free from Library for review consideration, opinions expressed are 100% my own. This post contains affiliate links as indicated by an asterisk. Purchases from these links provides a small commission to me at no extra cost to you.Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
Published by HarperCollins
Publication Date: 2010-03-09
Genres: Fiction, General
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Poignant story about an Indian child, the mother who gives her up and the American mother who adopts her. I felt so connected to the characters that it broke my heart when the book was done. This book was responsible for starting my insatiable appetite for books, I had to find more books that made me feel the way this one did.
Synopsis 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.”
This is not a book for the faint of heart. It took every ounce of strength to not cry over the stories of the two moms in the story, the American mom desperately wanting a baby and her bouts with infertility and the Indian mom yearning to give her daughter a good life and missing her every day. I can relate to them both and their agonizing decisions and journey through motherhood. Their trials, tribulations and joys are so perfectly detailed by the author. I was enthralled with this book from the first page and it did not disappoint.
Being an Indian-American, I love hearing her descriptions of the glorious food and life in India. The author knows how to pull at my heartstrings with this one, it reminds me of visiting my grandparents and how I miss them. I look forward to reading hopefully other works by this talented author.
“At some point, the family you create is more important than the one you were born into.”
“She knows that making it to the orphanage in the city is the only chance Usha has. Usha, dawn. The name came to her in the quiet hours of early morning after the midwife left them alone. It echoed in her mind as she gazed at her baby girl, trying to memorize every detail of her face. Amid the first rays of light that crept into the hut, as the cocks crowed the daybreak, Kavita silently named her daughter.”
“Notice if you are holding your breath after inhaling, and if so, what are you afraid of letting go. Or are you holding it after exhaling, and what are you afraid of letting in.”
“It has been more than twenty years since she lost her two daughters here, the one who was never given a name or a life, and her precious Usha. With thoughts of Usha comes the physical ache in her heart. There has not been a day since Usha’s birth that Kavita has not thought of her, mourned her loss, and prayed for the hollow feelings of grief to melt away. But God has not listened. Or else he has not yet forgiven her. Because the heartache has endured.”
What books made you cry? I’d love to hear your thoughts. As always, happy reading!