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
Amazon Kindle* | Amazon Paperback*
“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.“
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.
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TLC Book Tour:
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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.
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?