Della's Reviews > Secret Keeper

Secret Keeper by Mitali Perkins
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Dec 02, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: kindred-connections-bookclub-book
Read in June, 2009

Secret Keeper by Mitali Perkins.

Wow, just wow this one makes you think, and be appreciative for what we have here in the United States. The language is beautiful and the story is heartbreaking. The Secret Keeper is about a family in India around 1970. The father of the family loses his job and goes to America to try to find another one, leaving behind his wife and two daughters. The younger of the two, Asha is a very strong willed girl. While their father is in America, Asha her sister Reet, and their mother go to live with their paternal grandmother, uncle and their family.

Immediately when they get to the house Asha is told she is too skinny, unattractive, boy like, too dark skinned, and so on; Great for self-esteem right? This family is very traditional, the sisters can not leave the house without an escort, they may never be seen talking to boys, they may not play sports, they have to keep themselves covered at all times, and the worst thing is that they are no longer allowed to go to school because they can't afford it. Asha has a very hard time coping. She has always written in a journal and now it seems like her only respite from her overbearing family. She calls her journal her secret keeper, and secrets it does keep!

Reet receives a proposal for marriage and Asha is shocked to hear her that her Uncle is considering marrying her off! She comes up with a scheme to fix the problem but I'll make you read the book to find out what it is. Just when Asha thinks things can't get worse a telegram comes and unfortunately it's bad news. Asha's father has died in an accident. Now the three of them are alone with no way to make their own money and dependent on people who seem backwards and overbearing to Asha. Lots more goes on in this great book, including a forbidden romance, sneaking out of the house and an arranged marriage. I whole-heartedly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in women's studies, a great story, a historical novel, a coming of age book, and well Anyone!
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