secret daughter.

1 Jun

one thing the Kindle doesn´t have: cover art.

My most recent read on the Kindle was Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda. This book was recommended to me from many different sources: bloggers and blogs I frequent, websites,, etc. I was in luck when my Mom mentioned that she got a Kindle and that she´d be down to read it as well, meaning she purchased the book and I stole it from her. I love technology.

So what did I think about the book? Overall, I really liked it. The story was woven together interestingly, over the course of 25 years with the narrator and point of view changing every chapter between two families. One, a poor, slum-dwelling couple who put their infant daughter up for adoption in what was then Bombay, India, and the other, a wealthy doctor couple in tony Palo Alto, California. Unable to have children, the couple decides to adopt from India, partially because the husband is Indian and his mother had an ¨in¨ with the orphanage where they ended up getting their daughter. Family drama plays out over the years in different ways within the two families, and two drastically different Indias come to life as well. The story was compelling, and the portrayal of India makes me eager to travel there in a way Eat, Pray, Love failed to do. I also felt like the author´s knowledge of the Bay Area and the culture there was accurate.

While I would recommend this book, it wasn´t perfect. I felt like in some cases, the author was too brief in her descriptions and I felt like a lot of things were brushed off. The book played like a movie in my head, but in a sort of bare-bones manner. It´s rare when I think an author isn´t flowery enough, but I could have used some more detail! Also, it took me a very long time to buy into adoptive mother Somer as a character. She is very naive and narrow-minded. It´s hard for me to believe that a Stanford-educated doctor in California in an inter-racial marriage would be adverse to trying Indian food and feel insecure with her twenty-something year-old-daughter trying to embrace her heritage. Seems like a trip or two to a therapist could have cleared up a lot of Somer´s issues.

Too long, didn´t read version: Overall, a great book and a page-turner (I guess that´s a little bit mis-leading since I click a button to turn my pages, but whatever). The author gets points for the plot not being super predictable as well.

What´s your current favorite book? What should be next on my list? (Well, after I finish Tina Fey´s Bossypants…)

3 Responses to “secret daughter.”

  1. Kaley [Y Mucho Más] June 1, 2011 at 11:02 am #

    I recently read that one, too! I thought pretty much the same as you. I would like to read Bossypants as well.

    • gillian June 1, 2011 at 12:14 pm #

      I’m glad you felt similarly about Secret Daughter! I normally prefer non-fiction so I think that’s where some of my complaints come in. Bossypants is GREAT – I was stifling laughter today on the metro.


  1. summer reading. « That's G - July 28, 2011

    […] Secret Daughter […]

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