Somer’s life is everything she imagined it would be—she’s newly married and has started her career as a physician in San Francisco—until she makes the devastating discovery she never will be able to have children.
The same year in India, a poor mother makes the heartbreaking choice to save her newborn daughter’s life by giving her away. It is a decision that will haunt Kavita for the rest of her life, and cause a ripple effect that travels across the world and back again.
Asha, adopted out of a Mumbai orphanage, is the child that binds the destinies of these two women. We follow both families, invisibly connected until Asha’s journey of self-discovery leads her back to India.
Compulsively readable and deeply touching, Secret Daughter is a story of the unforeseen ways in which our choices and families affect our lives, and the indelible power of love in all its many forms.
Secret Daughter written by Shilpi Somaya Gowda is a story about life in an isolated town in India and the lives of Kavita, her daughter Asha, and Somer, a doctor from the United States who is infertile, unable to give birth to a child of her own. Secret Daughter is filled with emotion as readers learn that Kavita must forfeit her daughter to save her life. In contrast to the life of Kavita, readers learn of the parallel and dissimilar, yet all too paradoxically related struggles Somer faces in her desires to create her own family. Gowda masterfully crafts parallel stories of these two women and their longings for family amidst adversity whether those adversarial foes stem from cultural or biological roots. The women are strong and well-described and I felt as though I knew the two main characters. This book is, in a sense, a celebration of triumph for families as it touches the reader with emotions that come only from the connections one forges with their family. As a debut novel, I believe Gowda has set expectations high for whatever she crafts next as Secret Daughter is an excellent story for all readers, but especially for those who seek true meaning from what it means to be part of a family.
Shilpi Somaya Gowda was born and raised in Toronto to parents who migrated there from Mumbai. She holds an MBA from Stanford University, and a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 1991, she spent a summer as a volunteer in an Indian orphanage. A native of Canada, she has lived in New York, North Carolina, and California. She now lives in Dallas with her husband and children.
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I received an ARC copy of Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda from TLC Book Tours to be a part of this tour and offer my honest review of the book. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned book.