Secret Daughter

secret daughterShilpi Somaya Gowda

In a small village in India, Kavita gives birth to a girl. In order to protect her, she gives her up for adoption. Asha, her daughter, is adopted by a couple of American doctors, Somer and Krishnan, who cannot have children.

As Asha grows up she feels a pressing need to know who her birth parents are but Somer is reluctant to help Asha and consequently her cultural identity is quashed and their relationship deteriorates. At the age of 20, Asha goes to India to do a report about children growing up in the slums of Mumbai and to discover the truth about her birth. She meets Krishnan’s family for the first time and learns to love them and to accept that the family she has been taking for granted is all she really needs. In the meantime, Kavita spends each day mourning her daughter.

Through the book there is a spiritual coming of age as Somer realizes that she needs to change her perspective in order to let go of her fear of losing her daughter and accept Asha’s need of knowing her roots. India is depicted vividly, almost as a character of the book. Identity, belonging, family, and loss are the main themes of this heartwarming book.