Rated Reads

Secret Daughter

by Shilpi Somaya Gowda

Rated: Mild

In a remote Indian village a baby girl is born to a desperate mother.

A world away, in America, a woman and her Indian husband long for a child but cannot have one of their own.

Secret Daughter is the story of these two different families and the baby girl that connects their fates. Continually changing viewpoints and locations, the story takes us on a journey into the heart of what makes a family and the sacrifices we need to make when we truly love someone. From the slums of Mumbai to the streets of San Francisco, this book covers 20 years of growth, heartache, regret and discovery.

If a book can make me shed tears that feel real, that means something. I didn’t always love it; sometimes the white American mother felt a bit caricatured and I didn’t love how she was usually painted as the bad guy, but by the end, I felt I understood her better and it didn’t bother me so much. I really liked changing from the U.S. to India and thinking about how two lives can be so very different.

The Indian parts of the book felt so rich and authentic; it’s a great cultural look for those who don’t know much about Indian life and, like I said, by the end I had a few actual tears. The lessons our orphaned girl learns really touched me and didn’t cheese me out the way I was worried they would. I think as a whole, I really did like it.

Rated: Mild for 7 uses of mild language and 1 use of moderate language

— Reviewed by Corinne Edwards

Corinne Edwards is always happiest when a book is in her hand. If her current read needs to be closed for a short time, either in her backpack while she leads her three rambunctious children on adventures, or on her nightstand while she sleeps, that's okay too. Her book thoughts and reviews land at her bookish blog, The Book Nest.

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  • Secret Daughter
  • by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
  • Rated: Mild
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Reviewer: