“Secret Daughter” by Shilpi Somaya Gowda

       This is an engaging story spanning 20 years about a girl, Asha, who was brought to an orphanage in India by her mother when she was three days old.  This sad deed was a desperate and courageous move to save Asha’s life from certain infanticide by Asha’s father’s family.

Asha was fortunate, she was adopted as a one year old by a young couple who very much wanted a child to love.  Her adoptive parents were physicians, living in the United States. The man was a native of India, and had extended family there.  His wife, Asha’s adoptive mother, was an American.   They returned to United States with Asha, and she was raised as an American.

At age 20 Asha goes to India on a scholarship to work at a newspaper in Mumbai.  While there she stays with her father’s parents, and gets to meet her extended family on his side, most notably her grandmother.  She is warmly welcomed into the family fold, despite the fact that her adoptive mother had not revisited India with Asha in the intervening years since the adoption.

Asha sets out on her career as a journalist and, we see, learning about her heritage.  She also wants to find out more about her birth mother….

 Each chapter in this book is told from the perspective of one of the characters, the birth mother, the adoptive mother, and Asha herself being the predominant voices.

I found that I really began to enjoy this book once Asha went to Mumbai.  The author invests more into settings, and plot development it seems once this has occurred, and it does draw you in to a great  family story from this point on.

Life lesson:  A mother’s love and caring is one of the greatest gifts of life.

Where I got it:  From Sandy.

Published by: William Morrow, An imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Year Published: 2010

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