Judi/Judith Riddle's Reviews > Secret Daughter

Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
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Sep 24, 11


This is the profoundly moving story of Kavita, a very poor Indian woman, living in the countryside outside of Mumbai and Somar, an American Pediatrician living in California. Asha is the daughter they share. As the novel opens, Kavitata has just given birth to her second baby girl. Only boys are valuable because they can work the farm and girls cost too much in dowries. When poverty rules in India, the value of girls drop. Kavita, with her sister decide to secretly take the baby to an orphanage in Mumbai to save her life because her husband has decided to commit infanticide, just as he did to their first baby girl.

Somar and her Indian, ex-patriot husband have decided to have a child but they have waited too long because Somar is in early menopause. They are devastated. They decide to try to adopt in India while combining a long overdue visit with his parents. After many loopholes the adoption seems possible and they proceed to India. Finally they adopt adorable, one year old Asha, Kavita's daughter, and their little girl fulfills their dreams.

The story chronicles 20 years, interweaving the contrasting paths of both couples. It is a story filled with culture clashes, hope, joy and heartaches on both sides. Anyone who is a mother, has been a mother and especially as been associated with international adoption will love this novel. The characters are alive and real and the writing is superb. I will definitely on the lookout for another novel by this author.
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