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A House for Happy Mothers by Amulya Malladi Book Review & Book Club Discussion Questions Printable

A House for Happy Mothers by Amulya Malladi Book Review & Book Club Discussion Questions Printable

I received this book for free from TLC Book Tours 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.

A House for Happy Mothers by Amulya Malladi
Published by Lake Union
Publication Date: Jun. 1, 2016
Setting: India
Pages: 316
Format: eARC


“4* – I Really Liked It! – A House for Happy Mothers showcased the hope, love and lengths mothers will go to for the sake of their children. 

Synopsis from Goodreads:

A stunning new novel—full of wit and warmth—from the bestselling author of The Mango Season.

In trendy Silicon Valley, Priya has everything she needs—a loving husband, a career, and a home—but the one thing she wants most is the child she’s unable to have. In a Southern Indian village, Asha doesn’t have much—raising two children in a tiny hut, she and her husband can barely keep a tin roof over their heads—but she wants a better education for her gifted son. Pressured by her family, Asha reluctantly checks into the Happy Mothers House: a baby farm where she can rent her only asset—her womb—to a childless couple overseas. To the dismay of friends and family, Priya places her faith in a woman she’s never met to make her dreams of motherhood come true.

Together, the two women discover the best and the worst that India’s rising surrogacy industry has to offer, bridging continents and cultures to bring a new life into the world—and renewed hope to each other.



My Thoughts:


I knew the answer before the ultrasound tech at my obstetrician’s office said it. “I’m sorry, I don’t see a heartbeat.” The Indian doctor, who looked just like the grandmother I had not seen in 9 years, came in and confirmed it.  A blighted ovum, another miscarriage.

After the loss of our daughter when I was 20 weeks pregnant, this miscarriage was extra painful. Would we ever have kids? I knew Superhubby would be an amazing father. How could my body let us down..again? I was young, healthy and in relatively good shape, why was this happening? What lengths would we have to go through to start our family? How would these losses impact our marriage? Could I endure another heartbreak? My heart felt like it could not bear it again.

For us, our third time was our lucky charm and we brought home our bouncing, talkative, amazing little oldest boy. Sadly, some women are not so lucky.


In A House for Happy Mothers, Priya suffers through several miscarriages and is desperate to become a mother. A middle-class Indian-American woman, Priya lives in California with her Indian husband, Madhu. Priya turns to a surrogacy agency in India to fulfill her dreams of becoming a mother. We feel Priya’s desperation in her story, her hope, all her dreams resting on a stranger’s womb. 

In India, Asha lives in a small one room hut with her husband and two children, 5 year old boy Manoj and 2 year old girl Mohini. Asha wants her gifted son to have a better education, one which will satisfy his thirst for learning. An education which will help him succeed in his life and break out of the cycle of poverty. An education they cannot afford on her hard-working husband’s earnings as a house painter. Asha wants to give her son a better life and agrees to be a surrogate. We feel Asha’s desperation in her story, her hope, all her dreams for her son resting on the stranger’s baby she carries.

Both Priya’s and Asha’s stories are compelling, but what makes A House for Happy Mothers is the ethical and social perspectives that are brought to our attention. Priya uses an Indian surrogate because it is cheaper than a surrogate in the U.S. Is she contributing to the exploitation of the poor in India? Will the money be enough to help Asha and her family? Who is exploiting Asha more, Priya or the doctor that takes care of her? Will Asha be able to hand over the baby that she has carried for Priya?

These were just a few of the questions and issues that this book really made me think about. In fact, it prompted me to write all my questions down in a book club discussion guide, see below for a free printable.

I don’t give spoilers in my review so I cannot tell you how the story ends for Priya and Asha. I can tell you that A House for Happy Mothers took me an emotional journey that showcased the hope, love and lengths mothers will go to for the sake of their children. 

[bctt tweet=”A HOUSE FOR HAPPY MOTHERS by @AmulyaMalladi Book Review, #BookClub Questions #printable & #GIVEAWAY!” username=”momsvictories”]

[bctt tweet=”#FREE #BookClub Discussion Questions for A HOUSE FOR HAPPY MOTHERS by @amulyamalladi.” username=”momsvictories”]


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TLC Book Tour:

Stop by the to see other bloggers’ reviews of A House for Happy Mothers on the TLC Book Tour.

tlc tour host

Thursday, May 26thMusings of a Bookish Kitty
Friday, May 27thBroken Teepee
Tuesday, May 31stNo More Grumpy Bookseller
Wednesday, June 1stKahakai Kitchen
Wednesday, June 1stChick Lit Central – spotlight/giveaway
Thursday, June 2ndMom’s Small Victories
Friday, June 3rdBooks a la Mode – guest post/giveaway
Monday, June 6thBibliotica
Tuesday, June 7th5 Minutes for Books
Wednesday, June 8thThoughts on This ‘n That
Thursday, June 9thLuxury Reading
Friday, June 10thA Splendid Messy Life
Monday, June 13thLavish Bookshelf
Tuesday, June 14thKritter’s Ramblings
Wednesday, June 15thThe Reading Date
Thursday, June 16thLit and Life
Monday, June 20thBookNAround
Tuesday, June 21stPatricia’s Wisdom
Thursday, June 23rdGood Girl Gone Redneck
Monday, June 27thWorth Getting in Bed For




TLC Book Tours is letting me give away one copy of A House for Happy Mothers! Thanks for entering and good luck!
1. Must be 18 years or older to enter.
2. Must be a resident of US or Canada.
3. Prize will be shipped by TLC Book Tours or the publisher.
4. Winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond with mailing address. If a response is not received in time, another winner will be chosen.
5. Giveaway ends 5/24/16 at 12:00am EST.
6. The winner will be contacted via email and has 48 hours to respond and accept the prize or another winner will be chosen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Books Like this You Might Enjoy: 

 The Gates of Evangeline by Hester Young (5*, mother’s grief, mystery)

The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes by Diane Chamberlain (5*, mother’s desperation to protect her child)

The Midwife’s Confession by Diane Chamberlain (5*, midwives, friendship, trust, motherhood)


What books have you read about India, surrogacy or motherhood? What is your book club reading right now? 

About Amulya Malladi

From Goodreads: “Amulya Malladi is the author of six novels, including The Sound of Language and The Mango Season. Her books have been translated into several languages, including Dutch, German, Spanish, Danish, Romanian, Serbian, and Tamil. She has a bachelor’s degree in engineering and a master’s degree in journalism. When she’s not writing, she works as a marketing executive for a global medical device company. She lives in Copenhagen with her husband and two children. Connect with Amulya at www.amulyamalladi.com.

Amulya’s latest novel: A House for Happy Mothers will be released in June 2016.

I love meeting with book clubs, even when it’s 3 a.m. here – so please contact me at author@amulyamalladi.com if you want me to call into your meeting.”


  1. This would definitely make a great book club choice – so many ethical and moral issues, so much to learn about another culture, two strong points of view.

  2. I have been reading raves about this book.I just finished Behold the Dreamers a brilliant novel about immigrants to America&their struggles.

  3. As a mom who has gone through the adoption process (my two daughters are from China), I’m always interested in books about the different ways we become parents. My favorite recent read about the immigrant experience is The Unknown Americans.

  4. Really nice coverage of this book. I opened the book club questions and they would make for some great in-depth discussions, tied to the story but conscious of the larger issues it is tapping. Could even be TTWIB selection. I entered giveaway!

    1. Personally I would probably not consider surrogacy as an option but I would definitely have wanted to seek an adoption. It is a shame that the processes available to parents have become so fraught with difficulties that go beyond the necessary safeguards for the child’s well-being.
      I am lucky to have had my daughter early because my RA induced an early menopause.

      1. Ack, I did not know RA could cause an early menopause. I’m glad you had your daughter early too. I had my kids relatively early and love being a youngish mom. Who knows what my body would be like if I’d waited to have my first.

    2. Thank you Lucy, it would make an interesting TTWIB discussion. I’d love to discuss it. Glad you entered the giveaway, good luck and thanks for sharing!

  5. I normally don’t like very much books about women who are desperate to have children, because I always think “other options” are avaliable, luckily, for women in many countries, and the books I read seem to ignore this fact. In my family, two of my cousins are adopted (they are originally from China, no less!), and I think my aunt and uncle made the right decision to their situation (not being able to have children).
    That said, thanks to your review I can feel this book is different, more profound, and with topics to discuss about the “third world” and the consequences of our acts towards men and women from there. Very interesting, indeed.

    1. Hi Isi, I agree if I couldn’t have kids, I’d have accepted “other options” and if I didn’t have RA, I’d love to have a house full of kids. I just can’t keep up with them all physically and financially! My parents tried to adopt a child from India when I was a kid and there was so much bureaucracy, we all had to come to terms it would just be the three of us. It always warms my heart when I hear people adopting kids in need. I don’t think I could have asked a surrogate to carry our baby, I think I would have adopted. There are too many kids who need loving homes and don’t need to grow up in orphanages or bouncing around in foster homes.

      I do think this book’s take on surrogacy was different, I’d never read anything about this issue before. It never really crossed my mind to have a surrogate in another country. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me!

      1. Yes, I’ve always thought about the ton of children without a family, and the ton of parents without a child… I suppose that, in the future, adoptions will be more common, and I hope someday it will be the first option to many families, not like “the last chance”, you know.
        I also agree that it should be easier, because parents have a tough time trying to adopt children from certain countries.
        Subrogation is tricky, because there are pros and cons: you have the child from the moment they are born (not like adoption, that you miss the first months or years of your child), but it’s also hard for the biological mother, who might change her mind… As I said, I should read something on the matter, which I find interesting.

        Anyway, you and I are the opposite: I’ve never thought of having children, and you would like to have a house full of them hahaha.

        1. Lol, we are different in that regard but alike in many other ways. I wish it were easier for good families to adopt. I know we were all heartbroken when it didn’t work out. I also understand the rules are in place to keep the bad apples out. Everytime something bad happens, they put in a new rule to prevent it from happening again. But then it makes it harder for those with good intentions too. Reading about Asha’s struggle with knowing she had to give up the baby was tough. I don’t think I could give up the baby to a stranger. If it were for a family member, maybe. Thanks for participating in the discussion!

  6. Thanks for this captivating and memorable giveaway which interests me greatly. I have read The Golden Son, Secret Daughter, The World We Found, Cutting for Stone, and teatime for the firefly. Unforgettable novels.

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