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The Mother I Never Knew: Two Novellas

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  1,012 Ratings  ·  101 Reviews
What secrets lurk in a family’s past—and how important are they in the here and now?
Sudha Murty’s new book comprises two novellas that explore two quests by two different men—both for mothers they never knew they had.
Venkatesh, a bank manager, stumbles upon his lookalike one fine day. When he probes further, he discovers his father’s hidden past, which includes an abandone
Kindle Edition, 147 pages
Published July 1st 2014 by Penguin (first published January 1st 2014)
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Sep 29, 2015 rated it really liked it

Two men on a quest to find the mother they never really knew! Sudha Murthy’s prose is devoid of pretentions. The settings are contemporary. Her stories soul-stirring. Her writing reminded me of my grandmother and I could feel as if the author was sitting right next to me, narrating me the stories of Venkatesh and Mukesh. Venkatesh’s story starts in Bangalore where he lives with his family that comprises a super-rich wife and two children. It is not until he is transferred to Hubli that he meets
Priyanshi Durbha
Sep 01, 2014 rated it it was ok
The problem I have with Sudha Murthy's writing is her tendency to want to complicate situations because her writing compensates for it by being simple and easy for anyone to read. In the attempt to convolute situations, she adds the Bollywood/tollywood element and oodles of unnecessary drama. A bad example for Indian bred indian-english literature because I'd rather read film scripts! I could tolerate this book only because of how it speaks unabashedly about Indian culture and traditions and tra ...more
Souparnika Chander
Wow!! Sudha Murty's work really impressed me. I had earlier read her children's stories which I hd thoroughly enjoyed. But dis one, I didn't expect tat i wud finish it in one go. Both the stories were heart touching. Set in d backdrop of Bangalore, the sons in both the stories search fr their past/birth respectively. Apart from Venkatesh n Mukesh, there are other characters like gauri or sumathi tat yu wud really like. The author hd made it really simple nd at the same time touching. Definitely ...more
Ramya Abhinand
Mar 31, 2017 rated it liked it
After substantial amount of serious reading this book seemed a breeze to me. The first novella “Venkatesh” kept me reading as the narration moved on to events in a quick pace. However she could have surely omitted a couple of dialogues among the key characters, which seemed a bit irrelevant to me. The second novella “Mukesh” was quite a letdown. The plot dragged on and moved towards being very predictable. I liked the fact that in both the novellas the melo-drama was kept minimal.

The Mother I Ne
Bindu Manoj
Jul 28, 2014 rated it it was ok
Wonder whether Penguin would have picked it up if not for the surname :P
3.5 stars

Read more reviews at Reviewing Shelf.

Once again skeptical of trying a new Indian author but always the one for taking risks, I dived in.

At the beginning, the simple writing did not impress me as such. It is one of the things that puts me off, in fact, because I find it an obstacle as it distracts me from the concept and the story. However, I soon realized that this was not the case with this book. Despite its simple writing, I could focus on the story and the writing aided in adding to
Mar 18, 2017 rated it liked it
It's a quick read. Two good stories. but not the best.
Sep 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sudha-murthy
There were basically 2 stories in this book. The first one is something you can relate to completely. Understand the family set up and how things have been just a few years back and how dominating your in-laws can be etc., etc., the second story I felt like a drag after a certain point, though it too had same kind of emotions. One thing common in both and keeps you glued are the emotions described in the book. The characters in the book you feel like you see them every day in India.
Venkatesh -
May 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One more classic Sudha Murthy book. Just loved the way she framed her stories this time. Two very contrasting novellas about two men who never knew who their birth mother was and the eagerness to find them. The author did move out of her comfort zone and mentioned new cities apart from North Karnataka and Mumbai. The twists very well placed. If you have loved Sudha Murthy's earlier books, you'll love this as well.
Malvika Puranik
Aug 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014, indian-authors
Very heart touching stories. Both are beautifully written and overflowing with emotions. Sudha Murty has shown the confusion and emotions of adopted child's very nicely. and has shown empathy of the human nature
Sep 15, 2015 rated it did not like it
It is magical that everytime when there is a scene on private conversation the rest just leave the house. Hilarious & magical read
Vasumath Saraswath
Mudha murty,wow a awesome author she wrote this book with high fleeing. it touched my heart . A life of a young girl and love for her mother woah.
Sansita Ayyappan
Oct 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very nice story!!!!!!
Vrushti Mehta
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book has two stories of two different people. Both get to know a shocking news that they have another mother. First Venkatesh gets to know that his father had an affair and he another mother and brother who looks alike him. Though his wife and son are reluctant to give a high amount to them as they are suffering from poverty, he stands against them and his daughter helps him by giving her savings. Second Mukesh gets to know he has been adopted and go to search his real mother. This journey ...more
Raj Shah
Apr 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A simple way of conveying bold points, warm writing style...loved it..
Shubham Shetty
May 16, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: indian, novella

This book consists of two novellas revolving around two different Karanatakan men and discoveries they make about themselves and their families, and how they deal with them.

Venkatesh finds his look alike in a small village, and after probing further finds out he is his half-brother. Mukesh finds out that he was adopted after his father suddenly passes away, and goes on a quest to find his biological mother.

Both stories are predictable, except for an extremely Bollywood-esque twist at the end of

Swagatika Mohapatra
Feb 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Another masterpiece from my all time favorite author. Mrs Murty's writings are like a true beloved of every book lover, a best friend, which needs no prior introduction according to me. Her writings can suits U at every stage of ur life, whatever be ur mindset, whether U r upset, or happy, whether u r crying or laughing, u can be in one tow immediately after staring the reading, a single line afterwards it just start its effect. It purely understands ur feelings and transforms u a completely joy ...more
Jasmine Dayal
Sep 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all
Shelves: my-indian-jewels

Ah! I am glad to be back on the reading 'train'. It just feels so good to finish a book in a day!

This is the second Sudha Murty book that I've read and absolutely loved. The way she weaves the stories, creates the characters and makes you feel a part of their lives - I love it! From talking about money minded people to illegitimate children to adoptive parents and their love - the book has it all! The eagerness of the protagonists to know about their birth mother is really relateable but the wa
Arun Prasath
Dec 20, 2016 rated it it was ok
This was the first Sudha Murthy book I read. I had imagined Sudha Murthy's writing and story telling as very mature because of her age and her fame being the chairperson of Infosys foundation. But, the stories were more like some mediocre Indian movie/ TV serial. The problem is not the writing being very simple, but the plot and situations being unnecessarily unrealistic and complicated. One can find a jukebox of various melodramatic stories picked up from Indian Tv serials and cinema put in to ...more
Tarang Sinha
Feb 17, 2015 rated it it was ok
The language is very simple. It's fine. I don't have any problem with that. The main problem is writing style. I am surprised. It's too ordinary for a novella. Things that could have been described in crisp narration are told through insignificant dialogues. The author has focused on telling rather than showing. There's a POV glitch.

I would have liked it if the stories were told in first person. If they had specific titles. If the author had chosen one female protagonist.

I liked the book cover v
Harsha Sannareddy
Jan 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Not as good as previous book which I have read from Sudha Murthy's "Wise and Otherwise" . But, It's not familiar way to compare Fiction with Non_Fiction.

The book compiled by two stories which revolves around Traditional Indian Families :

1. It's all about father and daughter when it comes to first story which was named by Venkatesh.Really enjoyed while reading the first story !!

2. Not as Interested as first story when it comes Mukesh story. The author has maintained some suspense when it comes
Cheena Chopra
Feb 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Sudha Murty is one of my favorite authors and this is supposedly her first work of fiction I have read. I must concede what has been her strength in non-fiction appeared as her weakness in fiction - over-simplicity. While the first novella appeared easy-to-digest and engaging to me, the second looked over-the-board and had tad too much of twists involved. After getting deeper into the second, I wanted to get out of it ASAP for some fresh air. Overall, a nice, quick read which leaves you with a f ...more
Ranganathan Kothandaraman
Sep 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
The mother I never knew - Sudha Murthy - Penguin - Who said a family story will not be as engaging as crime or murder mystery?

The two stories in this fiction are interesting and unputdownable. The common knot is the men in both the stories are trying to discover their mother they never knew :-)

A good family entertainer with all sentiments and filled with Sudha's flavoured family values.

Strongly recommended for readers who love simple english but thought provoking books.

Special thanks to Sudh
Feb 02, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have enjoyed reading Sudha Murty's books for their simplicity and emphasis on values. This book retains the simplistic writing, however loses its connection to reality especially in the first novella due to twists and turns that seem quite Bollywood like.

The second novella is much better, very realistic in my opinion and the only reason my review receives an additional star. The emotions and reactions of Mukesh have been beautifully captured.
Nov 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, fiction
Two great stories, totally different to each other, yet they balance the enthusiasm of reading. Venkatesh made a really wise leap in there. After all, he was driven by series of coincidences. Mukesh had did the right thing. But his brother in law had something envious in his mind. Its was really good to end the story with Mukesh finally knowing the real meaning of being a mother. I did loved to put the book in 'Read Again'section.
Nov 15, 2014 rated it it was ok
It is not a unique one from Sudha Murty's other works. One thing I observed from her works is all her stories depict unhealthy relationships between husband and wife where wife is mostly the victim.

In this book, she narrated two stories. She tried to show the son's affection towards his step mom and biological mom. But I do not understand why it is being shown as an exchange of money. Rather than mental support.

By the way, Overall story is good and simple one to read.
Nov 12, 2014 rated it liked it
One thing about the writer, she is a practical person with little less focus on emotions. There are two stories in both cases, the protagonist does not know about real mother. Nicely written stories although there was lack of emotions I felt the reason why I gave it three stars. Mrs Murty has a knack of telling stories however I feel there could be more depth and more research that she could have added in these. All in all an ok read.
Khyati Tewari
Oct 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sudha Murty is one author who can never go wrong on the emotional quotient. her language is simple for all to understand, but the emotions portrayed cannot be better expressed.

The drawback being, in her quest to make the story interesting, they tend to drag a bit.

But overall, the book is worth reading. because the issues discussed are what we all can relate to because we have seen such things happening around us.

She deserves to be read!
Aug 22, 2016 added it
Mounica Toleti
Nov 29, 2016 rated it it was ok
As all Sudha Murthy's books, this one also has a simple language and narration. But this book was more like a Bollywood movie with too many twists and turns, which were very unwanted and misplaced. At one point, especially in the second half, I just wanted to finish the book and keep it aside. Disappointing work from Sudha Murthy when compared her works like Wise and Otherwise!
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Sudha Murty was born in 1950 in Shiggaon in north Karnataka. She did her MTech in computer science, and is now the chairperson of the Infosys Foundation. A prolific writer in English and Kannada, she has written nine novels, four technical books, three travelogues, one collection of short stories, three collections of non-fiction pieces and two books for children.

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