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Secret Daughterby Shilpi Somaya Gowda
Synopses & Reviews
“Moving and thought-provoking and informative and imaginative and beautifully executed. What a wonderful story!”
“This book is a must for anyone touched by adoption, or India, or the delicate dynamic between adolescent girls and their mothers.”
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.
In the tradition of Laura Esquivel's Like Water For Chocolate, The House of Impossible Loves is a novel set in twentieth-century Spain and France revolving around a family of cursed women.
An “exuberant” (El Mundo) debut novel of a family bound by searing passions, an earthy magic, and a very unusual curse
The Laguna women suffer from an odd affliction: each generation is condemned to tragic love affairs and to give birth only to girls who are unable to escape the cruel fate of their mothers. One fateful hunting season in their small Castilian town, a young landowner arrives and begins a passionate affair with Clara Laguna, the latest in the family line, daughter of a one-eyed woman known as “the Laguna witch.” He leaves her pregnant with yet another daughter, but the seeds of change are sown. Eventually the long-awaited son—Santiago, the great-great grandson of Clara—is born. A window of hope is opened, but is the curse truly over?
Introducing a cast of memorable, eccentric characters from a bearded, mute female cook to the local do-gooding priest and the indelible Laguna women themselves, The House of Impossible Loves is a feat of imaginative storytelling that marks the arrival of a talented new novelist.
Somers life is everything sheimagined it would be—shesnewly married and has startedher career as a physician in SanFrancisco—until she makes the devastatingdiscovery she never will beable to have children.
The same year in India, a poormother makes the heartbreakingchoice to save her newborn daughterslife by giving her away. It is adecision that will haunt Kavita forthe rest of her life, and cause aripple effect that travels across theworld and back again.
Asha, adopted out of a Mumbaiorphanage, is the child that bindsthe destinies of these two women. Wefollow both families, invisibly connecteduntil Ashas journey of self-discoveryleads her back to India.
Compulsively readable anddeeply touching, Secret Daughter isa story of the unforeseen ways inwhich our choices and families affectour lives, and the indelible power oflove in all its many forms.
About the Author
Shilpi Somaya Gowda was born and raised in Toronto to parents who migrated there from Mumbai. She holds an MBA from Stanford University and a BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 1991, she spent a summer as a volunteer in an Indian orphanage. She has lived in New York, North Carolina, and Texas, and currently makes her home in California with her husband and children.
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