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Archive (Buddy Reads) > Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda [Buddy Read]

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message 1: by Vi (new)

Vi | 2012 comments This thread is created for the buddy read of book Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda by Tugce Nida and myself. The buddy read will start on July 4th, Monday. All are welcome to join us :)

The book has roughly 334 pages in e-version. Basing roughly 50 pages each day, I have divided the book into chapters like this:

Part 1, Chapter 1 - Part 1, Chapter 12 - 4 July
Part 1, Chapter 13 - Part 2, Chapter 22 - 5th JUly
Part 2, Chapter 23 - Part 3, Chapter 30 - 6th July
Part 3, Chapter 31 - Part 3, Chapter 39 - 7th July
Part 3, Chapter 40 - Part 4, Chapter 48 - 8th July
Part 4, Chapter 49 - Part 4, Chapter 55 - 9th July
Part 4, Chapter 56 - End - 10th July

Nida and I will be taking turns at the questions.


message 2: by Vi (new)

Vi | 2012 comments OK, I'm finally done with the reading for today. Bear with me on the questions:

1. The first chapter(s) were painful to read. Based only on the first chapter, what are your impressions of the Kavitha and Jasu and the slice of the village culture?

2. What do you think of Krishnan's reaction to Somar's miscarriage?

3. After the first baby, we can Kavitha facing upto more of life's cruelties. How's your impression of Kavitha now?

4. Are you able to connect to Somer and Krishnan as a couple? We are shown their college years and the marriage afterwards. Even with this, has your opinion changed?

5. What do you think of Kavitha's choice of giving away the baby? Do you think she could have made any other choice?

6. Why do you think Somer wanted to adopt a baby from India?

I also found the language and the tense employed by the author a bit strange. It took me a chapter or two to get used to actually. But otherwise, so far, it's a painful read (which was one of the reason I put it off)


message 3: by Tuğçe (last edited Jul 04, 2011 02:07PM) (new)

Tuğçe Gökırmak (tugcenidasevin) Well, I read around page 40 or so, I will finish after dinner but I wanted to write at least my first impressions before you finish the day because with the time difference it will be almost your morning when I am finished for today :) So I agree on, it took a little time to get used to the style and language but after that it wasn't so bad. And now for the questions, here I go...

1. With the first chapter, I thought Jaso was simply a bully, I thought he probably might be beating her, and I felt like she has no saying in anything. And that she was afraid of him.

2. I thought it was quite normal, men are usually not as emotional as women on issues like that, let alone him being a doctor, a surgeon, death itself is probably another very normal thing to accept. And many people think miscarriage is normal and can happen to anyone. In pregnancy, men and women feel quite different because it is all happening inside the women's body and man is just a watcher. Where a woman feels everything and man just sees and tries to understands and has no connection until some time later.

3.I think she is trying to stand for herself and can be confident enough to be happy, I was surprised how Jasu was gentle when he was trying to explain their situation.

4. i don't feel connected to anyone yet. i think thats pretty early to tell

5. why didn't we know what has he done to the first baby? i don't think she had another choice at least from what i knew so far.

6. it looked to me it was more of Kris's idea than hers. He is indian and her mother is working for the orphanage and the process is easy and fast. there are children to be saved and looks to me like they have the ability to do so.


message 4: by Vi (new)

Vi | 2012 comments The main thing I feel missing is Krishanan and Somer's marriage. It really does not look like a marriage to me. It could be because we see only Somer's point of view but it's more like they are friends living together than husband and wife.


message 5: by Tuğçe (new)

Tuğçe Gökırmak (tugcenidasevin) it might be because we are only hearing her thoughts and her feelings about the miscarriages and nothing about Krishnan or there really is no dialog between them in the book yet except for a few short lines about adopting etc. it feels like Krishnan is missing, the character has no real dimensions maybe it is too early for that i don't know. Good morning by the way.


message 6: by Vi (new)

Vi | 2012 comments Good morning to you too :)

Yep, Krishnan's so one dimensional right now. I realize that Krishnan and her parents are pushing the adoption from India but doesn't Somer have anything to say about that? Well, it's certainly too soon to tell.

Are you joining the A Clash of Kings buddy read btw?


message 7: by Tuğçe (new)

Tuğçe Gökırmak (tugcenidasevin) I am wondering about the relationship between Somer and Krishnan's parents. Did they easily accept her or are there problems and that might be the reason they are kind of trying to force the adoption from india, though I am not sure how much we will learn about that. I will start reading and send questions hopefully soon, I hope it won't be too late for you.

And for the A Clash of Kings, I have been eyeing the thread every so often, I am only hesitating because I have so many things in my hand at the moment :) but it was so fun last month, I probably won't be able to resist and join in anyway. I saw you are sending the questions there tomorrow :)


message 8: by Vi (new)

Vi | 2012 comments Ah, now that you mention it, I remembered something - I think it was said that Somer hadn't met her in-laws after the wedding happened and even during the wedding, they didn't talk much. Also, it's difficult to believe that Krishnan hasn't gone to India even once in 4 years or even both of them. I'm guessing Krishnan's parents weren't happy with the marriage.

Yep, starting today. I'm hoping to stick to the buddy reading schedule atleast this time.


message 9: by Tuğçe (new)

Tuğçe Gökırmak (tugcenidasevin) Krishnan's parents were there only a week before the wedding in that rush they were having a wedding, they stayed with them but they didn't seem to connect at all...

Well for todays part, I actually can't say I like the book or not but there is something in there that keeps me reading, not hooked me but make me keep wondering, maybe the different lives they are ruling ...

I am glad we have seen more of Krishnan and Jasu, as they both turned out to be more affecionate then they appeared in the first few chapters. I couldn't see why Somer is not trying to connect with Krishnan's parents , it is pretty obvious that the old woman wants a connection. And I am surprised to find out that they have never met after the wedding or she never wanted to learn about Krishnan's life in India or his parents even though he didn't want to tell himself. How can She think, she knows him if she doesn't know anything about first 20 years of his life? She is too ignorant for my taste.
I am quite sorry for Jasu and Kavita, I actually like them best in this story so far, they are trying to make something good out of their lives with very little they have in their hands and they are pretty naive, hope the big and ugly city won't destroy them...
So here are my questions, tried to make up some out of each chapter, bare with me please, this is my first try :)
And I will be glad if you can answer your own ones as it is only you and me to discuss, I thought it would be good to know what others thought (and in this case it is only you)

1. We know that Somer didn’t meet Krishnan’s family before their wedding and she didn’t even see where he grew up or how he grew up. There is a big gap of cultural differences between life in India and life in America as far as we read. How do you interpret this, do you think is it possible to be happy just adjusting to ones life (in this case in Somer’s) and have a happy married life?

2. “No matter how much of an effort she makes, Somer still feels uncomfortable around them.” Do you think she is really making an effort to feel comfortable and make them her family?

3. Despite much of the obvious discrimination women face in India, Sarla Thakkar believes, "you can't always see the power women hold, but it is there…" In what ways is this true? What are the benefits and drawbacks of being a woman in each of these countries? Are there any similarities in the female experience across the two cultures?

4. What do you think about everyone, even Jasu’s act as if this boy was Kavita’s first born child?

5. “Somer wonders if it’s the biological connection that underpins their confidence, or is it the time they spend together, the time Somer spends at work? Would she know better what to do with Asha if they shared the same blood?” Do you think, being a biological mother or an adoptive mother could differ the relation between them when she was so young?

6. How do you think Jasu and Kavita will end up in Bombay?


message 10: by Vi (new)

Vi | 2012 comments Good morning Nida! Sorry, I got home so late yesterday that I just went straight to bed.

1. I'm baffled with both Krishnan and Somer. Somer because she has rose tinted glasses on with the whole thing never bothering with the actual reality. I imagine if they go to library, she'll be able to know more of India. Or ask Krishnan. How can she not have any curiosity at all? Krishnan because of all he knew about the thing to do, never did. Trying to protect himself but ultimately fails to do the right thing by sharing about his culture to Somer. I believe this crippled the relationship between Somer and Sarla (Krishnan's mom, i think) As an aside, I cannot believe he managed to live without Indian food for 4 years (since I imagine Somer doesn't make them).

2. Uh, I don't think she made an effort. She's behaving as if she was in America and expecting everyone else to behave like that as well. She doesn't understand it's a different culture that you might need to meet halfway. Or atleast take a step and the in-laws would be more than happy. (Really, such a mindset is normal unheard of at that time, 1980s.)

3. Sometimes I wonder this. I'm an Indian myself. While times have changed in the cities, women still have problems in rural areas. But I've realized that a woman holds her own power at her home. It's the women who is responsible for the wellness of the home, the kids etc. Maybe that is what Sarla means? In India, the emphasis is on the family, relationship. Hence, you always have support from someone. While the US is definitely progressive in terms of women's rights, not all will have the family to fall back on. You will be overwhelmed when you don't have someone to show the rights and wrong of if.

4. I think it's sad and amazed at the levels humans can act. Even Jasu. I'm also concerned about Kavitha and Vijay.

5. No, I don't think so. I am not a mother myself, but given that the child is so young, I don't believe it will affect the relation. It's more on Somer's mind. She's very dissatisfied with her life and she either expects too much at times that she doesn't see how they are. Really, sometime she's irritating. I just want to shake her up and tell her, Look at how things are , not how you want them to be.

6. I'm hoping things don't go terribly wrong for them but really, they are bound to run into trouble.

Great questions Nida! I'm looking forward to discuss them with you.


message 11: by Tuğçe (last edited Jul 06, 2011 12:18AM) (new)

Tuğçe Gökırmak (tugcenidasevin) Hi Vi! Good morning although I guess it is already past midday there :)

I am home today hoping to do more reading, my daughter is ill so I had to take the day off...

About your answers;

Q1 & Q2 - There is absolutely something missing between Somer and Krishnan, when they talk about their medschool years, we have been told how they liked each other, how they were in love, how they wanted to be together but not in one page or even in one paragraph I got the feeling that they love each other, they only sounded like two people living together like house mates. There is no affection I can feel or love towards each other. Somer is pretty much living in her own world with her own feelings and worries so I am not even sure she notices the cripled relationship she is having with Sarla. I can understand an adjusting problem which should be very normal but in this situation there is no adjusting problem she is not even trying to adjust she just ignores the difference. I didn't like the way the differences overwhelmed her, didn't like the way she felt disgusted.

Q3 - I didn't know you were Indian :) I don't know much about your culture but we are not very much different than yours in the family emphasis and relationship. We are usually big families and usually all involved in everything support and other things. Well that has quite changed in the big cities like where I live (Istanbul) but most of Turkey is not like that I must accept. I am not sure if it is a good or a bad thing but I know being all alone would be difficult. I believe the way we have been raised effects creating a family. I think it will be very difficult to work unless one of the parties have an admiration or at least interest in how the other has been raised or living. I don't understand how Krishnan is not missing the way his family was crowded, how it was all nosiy and probably fun at times. I don't believe someone raised in that rush for 20 something years and be settled for being alone with only a wife for the rest of their lives. (I can understand he might not want to go back to India after US after living with different standart it might be difficult to go back but that's different)

Q4 - I read a few books about Chinese culture especially in early 19th century, I usually enjoy reading books about different cultures especially the eastern ones. In one of them they were saying, the Woman is responsible of the inner realm which refers to the household and family and the man is responsible of the outer realm which is everything outside the house. it is pretty much like that in our culture as well. But of course with time the way people interpret things varies.

Q5 - I also agree with you on that, the child is way too young to know the difference, she or he only cares about who loves them and cares for them. And feeling the way Somer felt only effects the childs in a negative way because the child only seeks for someone to trust someone confident as they are pretty much scared from everything :) I wish we could understand better why Somer is so dissatisfied with her life, is it only the side effect of feeling failed with the miscarriages or something else.

Q6 - They really seemed so naive and underestimate the toughness of the big cities and it seems like their failure is inevitable.

Now I am gonna read todays part and looking forward to your questions and comments :)


message 12: by Vi (new)

Vi | 2012 comments Wow, I caught you luckily (taking a break) because GR this time managed to send the email.

Re Q1 and Q2: Oh yeah, I completely agree. Somer is so self-centered, don't you think? It's like everything's about her. I don't want to bash her but yeah, sometime she irritates. I really hope she grows past it.

Q3: Oh yeah. You should be a Muslim right? I have a Muslim friend, so I know a bit about the religion but maybe the culture differs. I am still stumped how Somer hasn't talked to Krishnan about his culture. Krishnan amazes me not having missed the food, family, friends etc. How can he not visit his parents? Or vice-versa?

Q4: Yep, that's what my parents tell me also. But that was then. Now, with all the globalization, it's in the transition period with different mindsets. Hopefully it gets better :)

Q5: Again, self-centered, dissatisfied.

Q6: Oh yeah, I'm with you on that. But really hoping that they get a break. Especially Kavitha.

Great! I will read and post the questions!


message 13: by Vi (new)

Vi | 2012 comments OK, sorry I'm late with the questions. Another late day ( though I was out watching X-Men :P Awesome movie.)

1. Finally we get some backstory of Krishnan. This feels more real. Krishnan realizes that the American dream feels hollow. How many would people immigrating to US would have realized the dream was hollow? Given the time period, I think Krishnan's parents were very broadminded with him marrying an US and giving them both space. What do you think of Krishnan's relationship with them now?

2. Yay, Kavitha and Jasu's situation seems to have improved a bit. Both of them so hardworking. Is kavitha wise in going to the orphanage? I'm guessing this isnt the first time..

3. Was Vijay right in talking to his parents like that? I was totally shocked at his behavior. I hope Jasu doesn't turn into an alcoholic though.

4. Seeing Asha's emotional burst, do you think Krishnan and Somer (especially her) are to blame? I think it will be normal for a kid to be curious about her birth parents especially when its a situation like Asha's. Do you think all the secrecy about it cause the thing to become paramount in Asha's mind?

5. Why didn't Somer and krishnan adopt another kid? What is Somer so paranoid concerned about?

6. Oookay, I'm concerned for Vijay. Where did he get the money? And this business? Their situation is dire but I hope he doesn't do anything illegal much..

7. We see Krishnan and Asha enjoy a bond. Why are they not a unit? Why do you think it is like that? Why can't they both accept Asha as she is? Krishnan can't ask her to be more Indian when she doesn't know about them and Somer, well, Somer doesn't know what she wants.


message 14: by Tuğçe (new)

Tuğçe Gökırmak (tugcenidasevin) Sorry it was quite late when I saw your post and I was exhausted thanks to my daughter.
So wow, you got some questions there...

1. I agree his parents being quite broadminded but then I also can't see any other way for them to agree him marrying and staying there as he is already there. I don't understand why he only visited twice during his studying years and his parents were ok with that. Was it about money? How come he is the oldest son of their family and they let him off the hook so easily, accept his way of ignoring them. It is obvious he misses what he let go years ago, now but it seems quite difficult to get it back. Now he is in the middle, neither American nor Indian really. I am glad we finally get somethings about Krishnan's back story but I still think all the characters are missing out the emotions at least partially... What I notice is there is no description of real pain or real happiness or sadness we just see what is happening but nothing about how they really felt about it,so that leaves the characters being one dimensional or so I thought.

2.It was definitely not the first time, I think she said it that way as well. But she just goes nothing more so what is the use of it other then pain to her. She seeks for her abondened daugther in every girls face and she probably will for the rest of her life, but she never thinks about her first born as well, so what makes the situation different than others acting like Vijay was her first born. Usha wasn't her first born as well.

3.Jasu tries really hard, I believe he really cares for his family and especially for his wife. The only way he knows to show is protect and care for them and it must be really difficult for him when he cannot do it. I am glad he is capable of collecting himself back so quickly. For Vijay acting the way he is, I think it is pretty normal for a teenage boy to feel anger and sometime hatred towards his parents in the moments of desperation. He doesn't really know or see how hard they tried until then. How was their life in the village or the earlier years in Bombay, Vijay was in not condition or age of noticing. All he sees while growing older is a failing father first at the bicyle company and then the textile company and him being drunk etc.

4.I am not sure if they were really to blame, she must be confused, being 16 is already difficult and being 16 and knowing that you are adopted and not knowing anything about your biological family or your origin or the country you were born. And I cannot understand why Krishnan is not at least telling about India, they way he grew up, his family etc. Is he still feeling shamed or what? I am sure she is also aware that her parents are having problems. I think Somer is never got over of her outsider feeling.

5.I don't really understand why she is so paranoid or concerned about India or anyone from there. I think after seeing how different they were when they went there, she might be worried about him wanting that life back and her not having a place in it because it was obvious that they were strangers to each other. I also don't understand how Krishnan can think she is changed becuase she is a mother, that is very normal, how can he expect her to be the same in years. I seriously believe they have problems that they need to talk, the thing is they are not doing that and problems just hangs in between them. Another child might make her more of an outsider in her own family. But she also is not making any effort to be insider, she waits for everyone to come around for her.

6. How come his family not worried what he has been doing, where all the money is coming from etc. They accepted that, are they that naive, was is that easy to earn lots of money and Jasu was just really a failure. I think there is somethingelse going on there and I hope he is not getting himself in big troubles.

7.They don't seem to me like a family. They all seem different and they all expect the others to fit in. No one accepts the other as they are. Is it because of Somer or Krishnan I don't know, Somer never tries to be included, she is so uptight.


message 15: by Tuğçe (new)

Tuğçe Gökırmak (tugcenidasevin) I did just read chapter 30 today and I finally figure some of Somer's worries just now. How can she ruin her own life and also the bond she can have with Asha by fearing she will leave them or want more? She is missing today with the future of something might not never happen. I can understand her fear, I always wonder how it would affect but then it is the bond you have with your family that made them your family not the biological things. Still it must be difficult but how a confident woman like her can let that happen.


message 16: by Vi (new)

Vi | 2012 comments Quick note: Really when it comes to Somer and Krishnan and Asha, I just want to make them sit and talk to each other. They quite frustrate me.

But I agree with you that the characters are all like cardboard - I can't feel them emotionally. They do the stuff, they say they feel stuff but we don't. More to come later.


message 17: by Tuğçe (new)

Tuğçe Gökırmak (tugcenidasevin) No worries! I am also having a pretty hectic day as I was out of office yesterday, I won't be able to do the questions until later tonight (probably around sometime early morning to you)

BTW I want to see that X-Men movie toooo, my hubby did last week and I was pissed with him for a while :D I am always too busy with work *sigh* lately mannnn, need to have a life for myself...


message 18: by Tuğçe (new)

Tuğçe Gökırmak (tugcenidasevin) So sorry with the delayed questions... I had a hectic day yesterday and fell asleep on the couch while I was reading :(

So here are my belated questions...

1.As we guessed there seemes to be an illegal side for Vijay's business. Why do you think the police is looking for him? and Do you really think they never thought about this? Can they be so naive?

2. Why do you think Asha is so harsh towards her mother? Why is so angry towards her, is it because she thinks Somer is trying to control her or do you see another reason to that?

3. What is with Jeremy? Do you think he is interested and close to Asha because she is a bright student and a future journalist to be?

4.What did you think about Meena? How do you think she will effect Asha's life in India?

5.It seems to me Jasu and Kavita's life is also never a whole. They are always lacking something, and happiness. Do you think it is affected because of Kavita never feels awhole with her lost daughter?

6.It is obvious that the way Asha and Indian girls grown up are very different. Why do you think Asha is thinking that they started to feel like family and India like home, even though she notices the differences?

7.After not discussing it properly for so many years, why do you think Krishnan is so cruel and furious now? Is it only Somer's fault? And what is holding her back ?

8.Do you think Asha will want to have a life in India or connected to India? Do you think she really starts to understand them or just fascinated by the differences?

Well for this part of the book I can say, even I am fascinated by what I read about India from Asha's POV :) I want to go and see myself :)


message 19: by Vi (new)

Vi | 2012 comments Hi Nida, It's ok. I'm still stuck at work too! :( :( :(

1. I was not surprised when we discovered about Vijay. Certainly, I hoped I was wrong. But this incident illustrates how naive Kavitha and Jasu are. It's believable in a weird way. They are too focused on their own lives to bother about things that are outside. They have this vision of how their child should be that they forget that the vision is not real and don't see him as he is. Can say that they are blind about him.

2. It's not just Somer trying to control her. It's more like Somer is not as accepting of Asha as she is. She is more worried about what will happen to Asha that she is refusing to see her now. Which ultimately leads to control Asha.

3. Jeremy is creepy. Seriously, he comes across a creepy uncle you avoid. Maybe interested in her future but certainly does not come across as that.

4. I like Meena. She could help Asha grow up both personally and in her career. It should be a good experience for Asha.

5. As a matter of fact, all the characters in this novel never seem whole. Something is always wrong. While it does make an interesting story, it would be nice to have them enjoy once a while without any care.

6. The main reason for Asha thinking like that is because here everybody accepts her as she is. They do make her do this and that but that when you go to a different culture is quite normal. Back home, she never had full acceptance from Krishnan or Somer. Here people accept her as she is and so she doesn't need to struggle and relax. After all, if you can't relax at home, where can you relax?

7. It's because Krishnan has aged. Now he looks back and realizes the life he envisioned is not the life he wanted. He's dissatisfied. And you want to go back, do something to make it better. And that is how he's trying to do it. Hope I'm making sense. I don't think it's Somer's fault only. Marriage needs two people. Krishnan also did not make his needs known clear. Nor did he try to work with Somer. Basically both made mistakes. Now they need to sit and figure it out.

8. I think she will want a life connected to India. As I said, here she is accepted despite the differences - looks an India, but behaves like an American. First place she feels like that completely. So definitely she will want to be connected.

Looking forward to your views :)

I have not yet read the parts. So maybe we can skip today's questions and I will post tomorrow the questions for today and tomorrow?


message 20: by Tuğçe (new)

Tuğçe Gökırmak (tugcenidasevin) well I got the msg from GR on time I suppose :) No problem for questions part, I will be reading tonight and would be answering later tonite or tomorrow so I am ok with tomorrow, don't worry about it all...

And for what you said about Vijay and his parents, I think you are right, they are not looking at him and seeing him, they are still seeing the dream life they wanted while leaving their village. They never think Vijay can be different from how they are. But he is grown in a city with a very different life than they had in their village and he mostly grew up alone while his mother and father was in a worry to earn for their lives. All they wanted was a better life, probably in that hurry they weren't capable of teaching or showing him that how you earn it is also important. And to me it seems they didn't care much as long as they were good. They wanted to be blind.

About Asha, Krishnan and Somer, they really have serious problems but everyone blames the other, noone is taking it in and trying to make it right, they all turn their backs and gave up so quickly blaming the other. I hope someone or something shakes them and they realize how they are all important to one another. I think Somer should go to India with Krishnan and made some effort so they can have a platform to talk and discuss, we never see them share as a family, never see them happy as a family. As you said noone in the book seems whole. Noone is enjoying what they have.


message 21: by Vi (new)

Vi | 2012 comments Very sorry for my delay (reason: HP 7, Pt2) but I will be posting questions today for chapters from 40 - 55 by another 6 or 7 hours.


message 22: by Tuğçe (new)

Tuğçe Gökırmak (tugcenidasevin) what is Pt2 :) & no problem, i am looking forward to continue


message 23: by Vi (new)

Vi | 2012 comments Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt 2 Movie ;)


message 24: by Tuğçe (new)

Tuğçe Gökırmak (tugcenidasevin) ooh, I got HP as Harry potter couldn't guess about the Part 2 :D


message 25: by Tuğçe (new)

Tuğçe Gökırmak (tugcenidasevin) How was it? I am planning on seeing it this weekend


message 26: by Vi (new)

Vi | 2012 comments Questions for Chapter 40 - 55

1. What is your reaction when you read the chapter on the Mumbai slums? Were your's like Asha?

2. We finally got Jasu's backstory. I know we are not at the end yet, but what do you think of Jasu now when compared with the Jasu at the beginning?

3. Somer finally becomes less uptight and Asha's maturing some more. We even see her ask herself: Did she drive them away? What is your view on this? As an objective third person, what do you think actually happened?

4. Asha is actually very close to Dadima. This is relationship stretching across generations. What factors could have contributed to their closeness?

5. Asha had some bad disappointment when she tried to find her mother. But reason soon established and I'm happy about it. Do you think she will find out her mother again? Given how Somer's now, how do you think she will take the news?

6. Do you think Asha HAD to go to India to realize the meaning of family, relationship? Couldn't she have understood it from elsewhere?

Lots happened but I am eager to complete the book. Would you be able to round off the questions tmrw?


message 27: by Vi (new)

Vi | 2012 comments Given that I am a BIG Harry Potter fan and I had a read-a-thon of the books just before the movie, I found that the movie was just ok. It had loads to action but very minimal emotional impact. I was prepared to cry but I did not. But your mileage may vary though :)


message 28: by Tuğçe (new)

Tuğçe Gökırmak (tugcenidasevin) I will reply your questions(good questions BTW) either tonight or tomorrow and will post the questions for the last part tomorrow...


message 29: by Tuğçe (new)

Tuğçe Gökırmak (tugcenidasevin) Sorry for the delayi weekends are always a bit out of control lately... So here are my answers ...

Asnswers for Chapter 40 - 55

1. Well if you are talking about the chapter which Kavita and Jasu moved in well, I was surprised with the missery but not as much as Asha's just until the end of the chapter. In the end of that chapter where the girl was raped I was out of words, couldn't believe what I read. I can understand being poor, being uneducated, bad living conditions etc but that was unhuman nd I don't believe even the poor and uneducated are all like that in slums... I see that there is a huge difference between the classes and there is almost a no middle class. But probably knowing and guessing can never be like seeing in real. Is it really as bad? Do you think I would feel like Asha?

2. I think he was never a bad person, in the beginning or now, don't know how he will be in the end though. He was living under his families wings and he had to follow them and as he said in this chapter that's why he wanted to leave them. They were not letting him be himself and he is a good man I believe. I think he is effected with the first born more than Kavita was, she is obsessed with Usha and never mentioning the first born daughter, finally someone remembers her. And I am also glad to see that he is not as naive as he seems and knows what's going on with Vijay, I cannot understand how helpless he felt on that however.

3. I think she never thought it will come to that point, where she would be all alone and Krishnan and Asha together, she always believe they would always needed her. And finally when she is alone she might be realising she was wrong and they also have personalities. But I must admit, I don't think she is the only problem in this weird marriage/family.

4. I don't know about the factors but I can understand that, I used to be very close with my grandma and actually I was around Asha's age at that time, she was like one of my friends we used to spend all summer together every year when I was at university and when I was 23 she died (it was pretty sudden) and I can't say I am ever totally recovered. Probably because Dadima gives unconditional love and care for Asha and let her be herself. She makes her life easier at least tries. And shows she cares, cares what she has to say or do, simply just loves her without knowing who she really is. That certainly should feel safe and comfortable.

5.I don't think Somer will accept that easily still but at least now she can let herself stop and think about discussing this with Asha like a real mother and daugther and believe Asha really loves them as her parents.

6. It is not really possible for me to understand the feelings and situation as I never know anyone adopted in real life and this book clearly lacks that kind of feeling for me to understand but I see that Asha needed to experience this to find herself. To get over that anger in her towards her parents and probably the feeling she had that they are hiding the information from her. I don't know about birth parents and all but someone has to know where they come from and see there, live the culture and in Asha's situation with ignorant parents like Somer and Krishnan, going to India seems like to be the only way. How come any child with living grandparents won't meet them until they were 20, that cannot be real. Family is important in ones life, very important or so I thought.

Questions will be ready tomorrow, hope that's ok...


message 30: by Vi (new)

Vi | 2012 comments It's ok Nida.

1. I've never seen the slums IRL. It's so far from my hometown. But I've seen them often in TV and I always think - it's bad. There is a middle class in India but around the slums area, it's the poor and the desperate.

2. The question to me is, why should he still feel hopeless? I know they are pretty desperate but they can always move. Of course, Vijay is an adult and that might be difficult but just thinking about it won't change anything. I think I'm being overly optimistic.

3. Oh yeah, I wouldn't say it was all Somer. Krishnan's to blame also. Ultimately, these two didn't have a marriage at all. All living in their own lives and failing to see what happens at their house.

4. I understand the feeling too. I'm close to my maternal grandma's too. I was close to my grandpa (we live with my paternal grandparents) but then he died 10 years back and I still miss him. What we said about people accepting her unconditionally, I think, is the reason why she feels so at home in India so soon. I don't think she had that with her parents in US.

5. I think so too.

6. I can't say for sure too but I THINK she had to go to India. This is my theory. This is like a continuation of to #4. She was not accepted fully by her parents in US. Obviously, she looked different when she was there so people were always expecting her to be different. Other Indian-origin-people were talking about the Indian customs which she doesn't know too. But in India, the family knows she is different. She looks Indian but she behaves like a westerner. Yet, despite all that, they just accept her with everything - food, behavior, dresses, job everything, I think this makes her more comfortable to enjoy and appreciate them for all they are. Which is how relationships are cemented. Then because she has ties to India which she gets to know and appreciate. What do you think?


message 31: by Tuğçe (new)

Tuğçe Gökırmak (tugcenidasevin) Ok here are my questions for Chapter 56- the end

1. What about Krishnan's and Somer's reunion? Did Somer really changed that much and everything is a great now? Did yoga helped that much? :)

2.What did you think about Sarla and Somer now? I thought they might be warmer after all.

3.Finally we can see a real warmth and mother and daughter relationship with Asha and Somer. And find out that Asha was already talking about her mother a lot or said Meena so! What do you say about it? I am glad at least they finally talked.

4.And finally Somer is used to India and kind of enjoys her time there. Do you think she understands them better now, what is different this time?

5.What do you believe Kavita and Jasu are feeling and thinking at the end of the novel? Were you surprised at the ending? Did you find it satisfying?


message 32: by Vi (new)

Vi | 2012 comments Hm, now that I've finished the book, I'm not sure how I feel about the book.

1. Nah, I don't think its completely yoga. Yoga might have helped a bit but I think the alone time and friends helped much. But I couldn't believe the Somer at the end. Not at all.

2. Yep, they will be warmer. I hope they visit more often.

3. I was surprised when Meena said that. We never saw that at all. Bah!

4. I'm not sure whether she understands them but she seems to accept them which makes it more enjoyable for her. The difference this time, I think, is because she was prepared to be open-minded about it.

5. Yeah, surprised but not satisfying. Everything was tied with a bow and it was all done so soon. Such growth, so soon? Kinda unsatisfying.

I did not enjoy this book as much as I expected to enjoy. Which is a shame. How about you?


message 33: by Tuğçe (new)

Tuğçe Gökırmak (tugcenidasevin) I have been wanting to read this for quite awhile and was really very excited about it but it has been quite the disappointment. I mean it has it's high parts, I really enjoyed but there was no character depth at all and also everything was just as if hanging in the air. Nothing was like really happening. And the ending was very unsatisfying, it was as if she felt the necessity for the HEA so tied everything up very fast very nice.
But the good part is, I really enjoyed this buddy read :) thank you, I look forward to a chance like that again...

1. I don't also think it was the Yoga but I also don't find how she has changed believable. Nobody changes that noticibly, I mean she can ofcourse understand her mistakes, what she did wrong and try to make it up to the ones she upset but com'on, this Somer was 100% different from the one in the rest of the book. I like this one better but then who wouldn't. And they didn't even talk about their problems, she just realised and everything was solved.

2. I didn't feel it was warmer, maybe because Sarla was so upset with her loss.

3. Yeah I didn't see that coming, it was kind of like that in the entire book, it has been telling stories that are not very important in a very detailed way and then we hear all the important details in short one sentenced lines.And what happened to Vijay, he was lost in the last quarter of the book.

4.I still don't think she can be that open-minded and warm after 50 something years of living. Obviously, being away from them shook her to herself but if it was that easy for her to be like that why on earth she tortured them and herself :)

5.Totally agree. After finishing the book, it still feels like a sketch of the real book, some chapters of the real story and actually, the idea is really good, the plot is brilliant but it feels unfinished, half. But there is one thing for sure, it made me wanting to see India after reading.


message 34: by Vi (new)

Vi | 2012 comments Yeah, I know. It's like having flashes of stuff and the whole thing didn't feel realistic at all. I second all the things you said. This book wanted more of the story, characters and realism.

I really enjoyed the buddy read with you Nida. It made me think and I enjoyed it even more than I would have if I had read alone. We should do it again sometime :)


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