Now that I’ve revealed to you my secret blogging ways, I’ll let you in on another one: I loved Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda. I first saw it in the arms of someone who stopped by at work. Most people know the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” This is true in reference to people, because people can be surprising despite their outward appearance. It is also true when it comes to books. However, since I’ve already shared two secrets with you I’ll share with you a third: I do judge books by their covers. Shameless, I know, but I go around the library, amazon.ca, and book stores judging books based on their covers. I also give them a chance when I read the back or inside the jacket but some books just look better than others.
I saw this book in someone else’s arms and was drawn in by the cover and I couldn’t get it out of my mind. So I went to the library and was not disappointed. The whole novel is put together in a wonderful way from the sketched flowers that adorn every chapter and each of its five parts, to the writing that captivates your imagination.
Each chapter is unique in the fact that it gives you a view of the story through the eyes of the main characters over 25 years: Through the eyes of a mother that gives up her child, through the eyes of her husband who wrestles with providing for his family, through the eyes of the woman that wants a child so badly, through the eyes of her husband who misses his wife from years before, and finally through the eyes of the child herself as she searches for what she feels is missing from her life. All of this is set in India, where exotic colours and tastes are paired with traditions and slums.
Shilpi Somaya Gowda’s writing is heartbreaking as she describes the love of mothers and the pain in wanting a child. She intertwines the story in such a way that that you sympathize with the characters as well as grow with them. I had a hard time putting it down!
So I think that you get that I think that you should read this book... right? If not, I’ll tell you straight out so there is no confusion: Read this book.
The Wakeful Dreamer