Babette from Outreach Services loves reading about other countries and cultures. Today she reviews a novel by a first-time author who was raised in Toronto by parents who emigrated from Mumbai:
This is a thought-provoking book that explores the joys and heartaches of parenting through the story of two families living disparate lives.
A baby girl is born to a family of little means in a remote village in India, in a culture where boys are the preferred gender. The infant’s mother, in order to save her baby’s life, makes the heart-wrenching and selfless decision to secretly relinquish her daughter to an adoption agency in Bombay. This child’s lot in life is drastically changed when she is adopted by a childless couple from California. The child’s new parents, both physicians, have the means and education to give their daughter all the opportunities and luxuries that money can buy. The novel follows the parallel stories of these two families, living literally and figuratively worlds apart, as their children grow up. Of course, the two families’ lives do intersect when the American daughter, as a college student, makes a trip to India, seeking to gain an understanding of her identity and why her birth mother gave her up for adoption. The reader observes that the joys, trials, tribulations, heartaches, disappointments, missed opportunities and sorrows that go hand in hand with parenting are universal.
Secret Daughter was a good read, filled with rich descriptions and dialogue, giving the reader a strong sense of place and believable characters with realistic problems. I found that I enjoyed the story even more after discussing it with a colleague who recommended this book to me. If you are looking for your next book group book, consider Secret Daughter. This story will generate lively discussions, particularly if the group includes parents of young adults who likely may have weathered many of the themes presented in this story.
Check the WRL catalog for Secret Daughter