Mrsgaskell's Reviews > Secret Daughter

Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
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Dec 18, 10

bookshelves: library, canadiana, bookclub, 8-star
Read in December, 2010

This book club selection was easy to read and engrossing. In 1984, in a remote Indian village Kavita gives birth to her second daughter. Her husband took their first daughter away from her at birth, and it appears that she was a victim of infanticide. Kavita is determined to protect her second daughter from this fate and still weak from giving birth walks to the orphanage in Mumbai where she gives up the girl she has named Usha. At the same time. in California, a young doctor, Somer, discovers that she will never have a child of her own. Her Indian-born husband Krishnan, also a doctor, suggests they adopt and his parents in Mumbai are able to help with the arrangements. Asha, as they know her, grows up in privilege, knowing very little of her Indian roots. The marriage of Somer and Krishnan suffers due to cultural conflicts as well as from Somer's changing focus from career to motherhood. The novel follows both the American family and their extended Indian family, as well as Kavita, her husband, and the son eventually born to them who proves to be a disappointment. This is a novel about culture, family, identity, belonging, and gender issues.
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