Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda

ISBN 978-0-06-192835-2 Published by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins

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 travesl 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.

What a beautiful story.  There was happiness, sadness, anger, raw emotions all rolled up into one very awesome story.

Kavita gives birth to her first daughter, but her husband has the baby killed while it is only hours old.  Being so poor, they need son’s because they can’t afford the dowry for a daughter to marry.  When Kavita has another baby girl, she begs her husband to give her time with it before he comes for it.  During that time, she takes her beloved daughter to an orphanage in Mumbai and puts her up for adoption.  So begins the story that brings three woman together in one city by the end of the story.

Somer is an American, married to an Indian.  After discovering she can’t carry a baby due to early menopause, Somer’s husband convinces her to adopt from his hometown, Mumbai.

Asha, the baby given up for adoption is raised in America, unaware of her whether her birth parents are still alive.  As a teenager, questions create rifts in her family and she ends up back in Mumbai for a scholarship and uses the opportunity to find herself.

While the story doesn’t end as one would expect, it was a beautiful ending, and one I agree with.

The story was well written, the emotions brought to the front, especially when Somer and her husband separate, but passion as Asha tries to find her birth family, Kavita’s undying support of her husband and life that Somer wants for her daughter and the life her daughter wants to have.

Conflict brings the story to the fore, and just when you think that everything is settled, another spanner is thrown into the works.

Loved this story and highly recommend it

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