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The Golden Son

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4.11  ·  Rating details ·  11,665 ratings  ·  1,158 reviews
The first of his family to go to college, Anil Patel, the golden son, carries the weight of tradition and his family’s expectations when he leaves his tiny Indian village to begin a medical residency in Dallas, Texas, at one of the busiest and most competitive hospitals in America. When his father dies, Anil becomes the de facto head of the Patel household and inherits the ...more
Kindle Edition, 413 pages
Published January 26th 2016 by William Morrow (first published October 20th 2015)
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Sofiya I think this is a good read. Something to sit down and relax with. Sometimes it's nice to have an easy read amidst all the in-depth and intense writin…moreI think this is a good read. Something to sit down and relax with. Sometimes it's nice to have an easy read amidst all the in-depth and intense writing.(less)
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Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.11  · 
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 ·  11,665 ratings  ·  1,158 reviews


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Carole
This is one of those books I didn't want to end. I love books that allow me to have just a glimpse into life in another part of the world. A life and culture so different from mine.
This story is heartbreaking and shocking at times, but will leave you rooting for Anil and his friends.
I highly recommend it if you enjoyed Secret Daughter, her other wonderful book, or if you are a fan of Nadia Hashimi. Both women favorite authors of mine.
Mary Elizabeth Morton
Just plain awesome! Loved this book as much as I did "Secret Daughter". :) I will happily read more of Shilpi Somaya Gowda's books if she decides to write more.
Krista
The first few times I found a cracked piece, I tried to apply a thick paint all over and bake it again, but the crack grew bigger from the crack and the heat of the second baking. Then it was really of no use. Or if I dropped it, it would break along that line, even if it was invisible. You can never fix it completely. Clay has a memory. Once it's scarred, the heat helps it remember. It's always the weakest point, where there's been a fracture.

I remember when Shilpi Somaya Gowda's The Secret Dau
...more
☮Karen
This is one of those books you sort of get swept up in, with its quiet brand of storytelling about a culture very different from my own. The audio narration was excellent with the variation in voices extremely well done.
Anil is the oldest son in an Indian family, expected to do great things with his life; and he goes to Houston to learn to become a doctor. Long hours in the hospital, falling in love with an American, a stuttering problem, never feeling like he quite fits in. After many years, th
...more
Pamela

"Not only was it impossible to truly belong in America, but he didn't fit in here anymore. He was a dweller of two lands, accepted by none."

Anil - The Golden Son - was the eldest of the Patel clan in a rural farming village in India. His father, the village's highly esteemed arbitrator, was a wise man of judicious council. He was also wise toward his children, though rarely straying far from traditional expectations of Indian culture. Typically that would mean, Anil would be molded (and expected
...more
Joanne
Oct 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is another lovely book from the author of Secret Daughter, a book I loved. The intertwined stories of Anil and Leena were at times heartwarming, and sometimes horrifying. The fact that they prevailed in spite of their challenges, while maintaining solid ties, was deeply moving.

Both of the author's novels are unforgettable portraits of the challenges of modern India, and the struggle to find a place in the Indian diaspora. I look forward to her next book.
Dana Burgess
Dec 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What I love about Shilpi Somaya Gowda's books, aside from the extraordinary storytelling, is that they open windows for me to peek inside of cultures and experiences outside of my own. Somewhere I heard that one benefit of reading is that it develops a greater sense of empathy in the reader as compared to the non-reader. I don't know if that is true, but reading The Golden Son extended my understanding and feelings of empathy for immigrants, for the oppressed and abused, for grown children and f ...more
Laurie • The Baking Bookworm
My Review: I have been so eager to read another book by Canadian author Shilpi Somaya Gowda since I simply adored her first book, Secret Daughter back in August 2010. Once again Ms Gowda doesn't disappoint her readers.

The Golden Son is a culture-filled coming of age story that also showcases the complexities of family bonds and friendships. Anil is a young man who lives precariously between two worlds - Gujarat, a small, rural town in India where he was born and raised as part of the town's most
...more
Linda Lpp
Jan 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was packed with issues very real today. I got a sense I was walking in the shoes (or barefoot) of each of the characters. Powerful book. The topics-India; monumental challenges related to religion, family, castes, traditions, values, marriages (long standing, failed), deaths, acceptance & attempts to integrate of different cultures in India and America, impact of higher learning on the person (family, friends & community), selecting a career path & following through with it but at what ...more
Rincey
Dec 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: poc-author
Ehhh... I mean, it was engaging but felt so stereotypical

Watch me discuss it more in my reading vlog: https://youtu.be/upSzTm5QfmQ
...more
Gina *loves sunshine*
Apr 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, audiobook
Once again this author did a fabulous job transporting me to another time and place! I was immersed in a culture so different from the west!! One of the best things about books - being somewhere new!!! The audio narration was really good - totally recommend!!!

India.....I loved being in the fields as they tended the crops. Loved being in the kitchen as they made their Chai to drink and lentils to eat! Loved having a front row seat to the family squabbles - where so much of daily life was filled w
...more
Denise
Mar 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition



In Shilpi Gowda's second book, The Golden Son, I found myself thoroughly engrossed in the story from the very beginning. As in her first book, The Secret Daughter, Gowda has a talent for writing fiction within her ethnic sensibilities combined with the culture of her birth. Again, she compares and contrasts life in India and the U.S. The characters were fascinating, vivid and well developed. Anvil's journey is intriguing, heartbreaking, at times, and heartwarming. 5 stars for this very special n
...more
Ashley
Oct 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very sweet story about relationships, family, and making tough choices that alter your life's path. I didn't give it 5 stars because it didn't blow me away or anything, but I really enjoyed the writing and the characters. It also provided me with my new favorite quote:

"That’s the key thing about a strong marriage. It gives you a safe place to be yourself, entirely, even the weak parts. Especially the weak parts." Love that. <3
...more
Keep Calm Novel On
Jan 28, 2018 rated it liked it
I read The Golden Son by Shilpi Somaya Gowda for a book club. This novel lends itself perfectly to a group discussion.
Bibi
Feb 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book in big gulps. The characters come alive and the reader is propelled along with the story wanting to know what comes next. Without regurgitating what the book cover and marketing blurb reported on the book, I would say The Golden Son touches on a variety of perspectives - customs of India, family dynamics and expectations, the new immigrant experience in North America, the scars and burdens we carry and how these shape our decisions and lives, and insights into the student medica ...more
Melissa
Aug 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received an advanced review copy from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

*The Golden Son* was a great read. I usually devour books set in India, and what a surprise when half the novel is also set in Dallas, Texas, my hometown! If the author hasn't spent a lot of time here, I would be seriously surprised. She included such great detail that only a long-time resident would know.

Anil is the eldest son of a traditional Indian family, but his father has always had great plans for Anil to b
...more
Greg Heller
Mar 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. The author painted a good picture of why dowries have been outlawed in India. She did an excellent job of showing how Patel did not quite fit in as an American and also how he no longer belonged in India. Definitely worth the read!
Sara
Sep 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-of-all-time
Five stunning, incredible stars. This book goes on my Best of All Time list, no question. These characters will stay with me for a long, long time. I don’t want to leave Anil’s world. Highly recommend this book to just about anyone. A beautiful, moving, heart-wrenching story.
Debi Yoneda
Nov 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you have read any of my other reviews I always seem to be giving 4 or 5 stars out. Is this a pattern for me or have I just been very lucky lately in picking up fabulous books!!! The Golden Son has definitely earned a spot on my favorite list.

I started this book last Thursday and got up early this am to finish the last 100 pages or so. The one problem I have finishing a good book is that let down feeling of trying to find one as good as the last that will hold my interest. The Golden Son is go
...more
Neelam Babul
Nov 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful story about Anil and the challenges he faces. The story revolved around the traditional values and culture of India. The story teaches us that the change begins with you. Culture should be for growth and support not for humiliating and fostering practices like violence, shunning divorcees or supporting dowry.
Angmdc
Dec 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 really enjoyable book, this author is wonderful! Always interesting to read and experience a different culture
Julie
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Hooray!!!! The first book i read in 2017 was absolutely wonderful!!!!
Hard to say goodbye to these characters.
Jill Robbertze
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this light easy read. Believable characters and an engaging story that led to an ending that was pleasantly unpredictable.
Wanda
The emotionally intense story of a young man straddling two vastly different cultures. I don't want to risk spoiling any part of this book, so I'll just say that what sets it apart is the depth and fullness of virtually every character and the cultural richness of its description of a small village in India as well as urban Dallas, Texas. Definitely one of the best books I've read this year.

I received this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways.
Beverlee
Mar 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
The Golden Son is a book of contrasts and choices and responsibilities and consequences and families and, above all else, a beautiful illustration that not everything in life is wonderful and turns out okay - but some things eventually do. As we suspect, being The Golden Son is not always so golden, but the journey that we take with him is fascinating and heartbreaking and heartwarming and I won't forget any of these characters any time soon. A special book.
Jane
Jul 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very heart-warming book about family bonds - so well written. All of the characters were very well developed and enjoyable to read about. I really wasn't ready for this story to end!
I have had this author's debut novel, "The Secret Daughter" on my iPad for quite some time and will now move it more to the top of my TBR list.
Kathy
Dec 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed this book and learning more about the culture and the difficulties involved in moving back and forth between cultures. Well written although at times I felt there was too much detail. Would be interested in reading more from the same
Christine
Feb 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Just. Plain. Awesome! I loved this novel from the beginning to the end. Beautifully written. I felt like I was "with" these characters as they experienced their life events. Bravo, Mrs. Gowda!
Jamie P-Kretzschmar
Best book that I have read this year. Woke up at 1 am and read it until it was finished.
Roopa
Mar 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well crafted story that cleverly interweaves themes of tradition and progress, East and West, rural and urban and much more while spinning a good tale.
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Shilpi Somaya Gowda was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. In college, she spent a summer as a volunteer in an Indian orphanage, which seeded the idea for her first novel, Secret Daughter, published in 2010. It was a New York Times and #1 international bestseller, and was translated into over 30 languages. Secret Daughter was shortlisted for the South African Boeke Literary Prize, longlisted for ...more

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