Denise's Reviews > Secret Daughter

Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
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's review
Jun 15, 2011

it was amazing

I received this book for Mother's Day this year and it was a wonderful gift. What a great story! Ms. Gowda's rich descriptions both of India as a place as well as the very detailed depiction of the various characters in the book is exceptionally good. I found myself dreaming of India every night. I could image the food and almost smell it! She does a really wonderful job of portraying all the various Indias that exist simultaneously in the present day. From the young, beautiful shopping divas of the privileged class to the struggling but proud people living in poverty that Americans cannot even begin to imagine!

I found the American characters harder to relate to in some ways. Somer starts out as someone you really feel for but later becomes clingy and whiney. Why would she marry an Indian medical student and then avoid learning anything about the culture? I found myself sympathizing more with the father but he also seems to have abdicated his responsibility to open his daughter to the richness of his heritage. Both seem to have failed quite a bit as parents even though they have the resources and intent to be good parents. They failed in not giving their daughter the chance for wonderful experiences visiting India and getting to know her grandparents, cousins and her father’s culture. I found myself being thankful that the grandmother survived long enough to set things right!

The end of the book was a bit of a surprise but seemed like the right ending. This situation may also be true for some open adoptions, knowing about each other is enough.

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