Secret Daughter: A Novel
by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
Hardcover- N/A

“Moving and thought-provoking and informative and imaginative and beautifully executed.  What a wonderful story!”
—Mary Jane Clark


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  "A bestseller in Canada" by lreisenbichler (see profile) 11/16/10

This is a sleeper hit - it's a great discussion book about mothers, daughters, adoption, crossing cultures, marriage, living with our choices. It's a quiet read that pulls you in. I thought the characters were well drawn and the tensions were real.

It's a Canadian bestseller; I always like to see what's catching on in other places. This one is well deserved.

  "Family" by mel2922 (see profile) 11/22/10

How you define "family" has nothing to do with blood or birth. It has everything to do with the heart.

  "the secret daughter" by nu2335 (see profile) 01/16/11

  "Predictable and inconsistent at times" by jtdefranco (see profile) 03/03/11

While I enjoyed the book, it was fairly predictable and unrealistic at times. The descriptions of the Indian slums and the cultural pieces were very realistic, the relationships between the characters were not always believable to me. Quick to read, informative culturally, but not my favorite book this year. Author avoided digging too deep on feelings and spent her time developing cultural content instead.

  "The Secret Daughter" by firthmom (see profile) 03/16/11

Good storyline, but the character development was a little thin. It was an easy, interesting read.

  "Secret Daughter" by jackr (see profile) 05/28/11

Was a good book but not a great book. Our discussion was slow but maybe that was just us.

  "Great Book Club Title" by brenee1973 (see profile) 07/13/11

My group really enjoyed this book. We were lucky that one of our members knows the author and she was kind enough to call us so we could ask questions. Fun evening, great book!

  "A Mother" by mompaskell (see profile) 10/05/11

A good book. I thought the ending was gonna go one way but turned out differently for me. It showed the emotions of a mother and what family means.

  "Secret Daughter" by Kelly321 (see profile) 12/30/11

This book was well received by all of us and found to be a "good read". We all agreed that the character, Somer seemed to be unrealistic and not true to her well established personality, in relation to her "insecurities" of being an adoptive mother. Some felt that this character conflict could have been the result of the author's own biases and Indian background.

As "Western" women we felt outraged at the inequalities this book made us face, that is a daily occurrence in other parts of the world such as, India. We all hated Kavita' s husband for killing their infant daughter. When we discovered what his nightmares were all about, we couldn't necessarily forgive his actions, but we were able to see him as more than just a monster.

The author was able to illustrate various aspects of India life in such a way that readers with limited knowledge of Indian culture could follow and thoroughly enjoy the book.

  "Great read" by jem0112 (see profile) 03/21/12

Fast book, great discussion!

  "Secret Daughter" by amieo (see profile) 04/02/12

  "Loyalty versus Your Heart" by netmayo (see profile) 04/08/12

A Good Discussion Book. It's not so easy to imagine having to make the choices woman in India had to make.

  "Good Daughter" by SheGaud (see profile) 04/16/12

  "Secret Daughter: A Novel" by sflynn (see profile) 05/22/12

  "An interesting read" by jencygan (see profile) 06/23/12

  "Opened my eyes" by mybcjac24 (see profile) 06/23/12

Brought a perspective to India and apodption that I had not thought of before I read this book

  "Secret Daughter" by nokidding1 (see profile) 07/01/12

An informative story about how the 'haves' and 'have-nots' live and the choices they make. The ending is just perfect, although maybe not what you will be expecting.

  "The Secret Daughter" by Seymour61 (see profile) 07/14/12

I found it very informative as it relates to cultural differences and challenges in India in regard to motherhood and family survival.

  "Secret Daughter" by ssskjw (see profile) 08/12/13

Secret Daughter is a well written book that readers can draw an emotional connections with the characters, but then make you question your decision on just what character you want to support. Very interesting customs practiced in India that make for great discussion.

  "The Secret Daughter" by cimlibrarian (see profile) 12/19/13

An excellent read that grabs from the first page. All of members could not put the book down and felt empathy with the characters. Highly recommended.

  "Predictable " by lolligab (see profile) 12/31/13

While there was nothing terribly wrong with this book, it was a bit of a snooze. The characters and their motivations were unconvincing. I didn't care about any of them and forgot about it all as soon as I finished.

  "Secret Daughter" by kdangle17 (see profile) 02/05/14

  "Well Written" by Melina (see profile) 07/14/14

We are a club of mom's, and it resonated with all of us. The stories intertwine very well and give a clear image of life in India as a woman. It is heartbreaking and heroic at the same time.

  "" by caroleeb (see profile) 09/24/14

  "" by Readextensively (see profile) 10/01/14

  "" by Heathervw (see profile) 10/27/14

  "" by Msreadsalot (see profile) 11/11/14

  "Secret Daughter" by Daryl (see profile) 01/28/15

Informative, but alternating points of view for one chapter to the needs seems tired.

  "" by Mtnilex (see profile) 01/28/15

  "A split review" by knitmarisa (see profile) 01/29/15

This book averaged a 3.75 with our group. Some members gave it a 3, feeling that some of the characters fell flat and it was a bit cliche. Others gave it a 5, finding the book a realistic portrayal of family members in this situation.

  "Secret Daughter:A Novel" by cgaber1 (see profile) 07/15/16

Beautifully written, this book is a perfect book club selection. There are lots of themes to discuss, whether sticking to the book's characters and/or making it personal, with a plot that makes you want to keep reading. When you finish, you wish there was a sequel.

  "The secret daughter" by Atsiandi (see profile) 11/24/16

A beautifully written book that takes you into the world of India, in different levels. The story of an amazing young girl who learns about her biological parents...but does she get to meet them?

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 04/06/17

  "Secret Daughter" by claudinepiechotta (see profile) 04/18/17

This is a novel that explores the mother daughter relationship while traversing American and Indian culture. Two families live inextricably cross over the life of one child. It's an examination of marriage, culture, poverty and opportunity and most importantly the tie between mother and child

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 05/29/17

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 02/27/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 09/12/18

  "" by pmacarthur (see profile) 12/23/22

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