Secret Daughter - Shilpi Somaya Gowda

Secret Daughter

By Shilpi Somaya Gowda

  • Release Date: 2010-03-09
  • Genre: Fiction & Literature
Score: 4.5
From 713 Ratings


“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.


  • A must read!

    By Finicky Reader
    I loved the story. I cried but also I laughed. As a mother, I could relate to Somer but also Kativa. I highly recommend this book.
  • Great read!,,

    By Nappyreader
    This book touched me in many ways. First if all, let me say that I really enjoyed the book. It was heart felt and had a phenomenal plot. I cried and giggled, very emotional. I agreed with a lot of the reviewers in that Kavita's character needed more development. I felt her character had a bigger story to tell and Jasu character as well. This book was a nice change of pace from other books regarding Indian slums, it's not so tragic unlike the prior book I read "Behind the Beautiful forevers"...(total bore)... Bravo Gowda!!!
  • Was that the ending?

    By Nish Shah
    India, the good and bad are captured well in this story. The end fell short for me, a 25 year long tale deserved a touch more closure in the end.
  • I also loved this book

    By Nmj907
    I could not put this book down and found myself reading till the wee hours of the morning, this book is beautifully written and captures your attention within the first few pages. Not very many books can keep me reading for hours on end lost and absorbed in their story but this one did, I absolutely enjoyed this book.
  • Superb, class, culture and woman power

    By DBecker607
    More than any book I've read, this outstanding but simple piece of elegant literature portrays the worth of women among the poor in modern day India. The contrast of overwhelmingly excessive wealth and primitive abject poverty and corruption in India made my blood boil . And yet I know it is no exaggeration. Why this disgusting offense to humanity is obscured in the Western world escapes me. The arrogance of wealthy Indians turning a blind eye to this dehumanizing highly prevalent poverty stuns me! Servants! For shame!!! The story of Asha, the secret daughter, is well told and compelling in it's veracity and emotions. A fabulous read and not stereotypical.
  • Captivating

    By Nic0429
    Very good book, I read before bed and spent my dreams in India!
  • Great Read

    By Fortunate1269
    Loved all the interesting things I learned about the culture in India. Well written but would've Loved a reunion at the end.
  • Secret daughter

    By Tripitapodria
    Loved it! Couldn't put it down!
  • Secret Daughter

    By Jaxsonsmom910
    This book is awesome! You will not be able to put it down! Every woman must read. It is also interesting to learn about Indian customs. Tissues are a must!
  • Loved this book

    By Velaton
    Loved this book! Couldn't put it down!