Secret Daughter

Secret Daughter

Book - 2010
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Baker & Taylor
Interweaving the stories of a Kavita, an orphan; Somer, the American doctor who adopted her; and Asha, the Indian mother who gave her up in favor of a son, a debut novel moves between two families--one struggling to survive in the slums of Mumbai, the other grappling to forge a cohesive family despite their diverging cultural identities. A first novel. 50,000 first printing.


“Moving and thought-provoking and informative and imaginative and beautifully executed.  What a wonderful story!”
—Mary Jane Clark


“This book is a must for anyone touched by adoption, or India, or the delicate dynamic between adolescent girls and their mothers.”
—Sujata Massey, author of Shimura Trouble


Secret Daughter, a first novel by Shilpi Somaya Gowda, explores powerfully and poignantly the emotional terrain of motherhood, loss, identity, and love through the experiences of two families—one Indian, one American—and the child that binds them together. A masterful work set partially in the Mumbai slums so vividly portrayed in the hit film Slumdog Millionaire, Secret Daughter recalls the acclaimed novels of Kim Edwards and Thrity Umrigar, yet sparkles with the freshness of a truly exciting new literary voice.


& Taylor

Interweaves the stories of a baby girl in India, the American doctor who adopted her, and the Indian mother who gave her up in favor of a son, as two families--one in India, the other in the United States--are changed by the child that connects them.

Publisher: New York : William Morrow, c2010
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780061922312
Branch Call Number: FIC GOW
Characteristics: 346 p. ;,24 cm.


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This is a beautiful story, and it kept me up into the small hours of the morning. I am looking forward to reading more from this author. It is the story of Kavita (in India) who gives away her baby Asha, and the Americans halfway around the world who adopt her (Somer and Krishnan). This is a book about culture and belonging, and l loved it. (submitted by library customer YE)

Jun 27, 2018

What started off as a quick and interesting read became slow and tedious. I found the characters to be unconvincing and unrealistic, lacking in development and good dialogue. I put the book down at the halfway mark as I failed to feel any sympathy for the protagonists.

Jul 28, 2017

The books is ok. An easy read but not much of a story. It's a very slow book. I found myself continually waiting for something of substance to happen but it never does.

Jul 26, 2017

This is a good story but it is just that, a story. Lacks depth, fake dialogue. I prefer books with more literary value but this is an easy read and a good story nonetheless.

Apr 16, 2017

Is an easy read makes a good book? Well, this book is definitely easy to read reads as a newspaper article or ...a Bollywood movie script.
As the book is quite monotonous, I read only those chapters that showed some dynamic and skipped those that didn't. I liked more the Indian part of the story - it's culturally rich, colorful and interesting. America, as described, is a safe and pretty boring place to live in. Interesting comparison and choice of words, for sure.

Oct 01, 2016

Good idea for a story but definitely reads like a first novel. The sentences are a bit clunky at times, and the dialogue is cliche. That said, I appreciated that the ending was not as tidy and predictable as I expected.

Feb 17, 2016

Excellent book - abrupt ending

Dec 25, 2015

Really liked this book

Jul 27, 2015

I thought this book was really good and was entertaining from the beginning.

Feb 27, 2015

An education in a different cultures practices; heart breaking at times.

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LauraO18 Aug 02, 2012

LauraO18 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

simplesimon May 05, 2011

simplesimon thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

Mar 12, 2011

twilight5 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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Oct 02, 2010

Secret Daughter is a great book.. perfect for ages 13+ and is great for all mothers.. make you really think back and relate.

The story takes place in india, and is about a young mother names Kavita who finally has a baby girl but is forced to give her away due to certain costums in India. The baby girl is dropped at an orphange.

On the other side of the globe, Somer, in the us, is having trouble having a child so her husband krishnan thinks about adopting a child form India...

will kavitas baby girl have a connection with somer and krishnans adoption? read to find out :)


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Jul 05, 2011

From the book jacket.... "Secret Daughter poignantly explores the emotional terrain of motherhood, loss, identity and love , as witnessed through the lives of two families-one Indian, one American-and the child that indelibly connects them."


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