Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
A recommended summer read is Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda. The novel is well written, fast paced, and speaks of issues shared by many women around the world.
At the centre of the story is a baby, born to Kavita, whom she secretly gives up for adoption in order to save the baby’s life. In her culture only male children were kept and girl babies were murdered by their male family members. It was thought that a son would support his parents, and girls were just more mouths to feed. On the other side of the world is Sommer, forced to come to grips with infertility. Her husband is from Mumbai, India, and he is in favor of adopting one of the abandoned girl babies. Sommer reluctantly agrees and it doesn’t take long for the daughter they adopt to become the centre of their lives.
The narrative alternates between the two women – one enjoying a life of privilege, the other of poverty. When the daughter becomes an adult she returns to India.
The descriptions of the beautiful silk saris, tastes of spicy exotic foods, and the smell of the despair of the slums, jump off the page of this novel. Several copies are available at the library.