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4.3 out of 5 stars124
4.3 out of 5 stars
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Showing 1-7 of 7 reviews(3 star). Show all reviews
on May 16, 2010
The story synopsis for "Secret Daughter" immediately captured my attention, and I eagerly bought this book looking forward to a satisfying read.

The begining was riveting and sucked me completely into the tale. But, as it progressed I found the author's back and forth jumping between characters very annoying. This writing technique can be successful, but the reader is just settling back into one of the characters lives when Gowder finishes that snippet and switches again - sometimes a character has only 2 pages!

Shilpi Somaya Gowda writes well (I think this is her first book), and the story is a good one which needs telling, but personally I would have enjoyed the book more if she had stayed with each character longer and given us more depth before switching to another part of the story.
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on May 3, 2013
The idea of comparing the lives 2 women, one in India who cannot keep her girl babies and the other in California who cannot have a child of her own is compelling and I think that is done well. However, too many themes are introduced to deal with on more than a superficial level. Cross border and cross ethnicity adoption are one; the treatment of girls and women in India another; the migration of country people to the slums of Mumbai and the small chance of prosperity. Corruption and crime are glossed over.
Character was sacrificed to expediency, I thought, and except for the 2 main ones, Somer and Kavita, most of the people were backdrop.
The story is interesting and moves along at a good pace to a pretty neat and predictable conclusion.
Oh, by the way---I am not American myself and do not find Americans to be as bland and unadverterous as depicted in this book.
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on October 21, 2010
This book was ok, no more no less. I read it last month for my book club and was expecting great things given it is an Indigo Books "Heather's Pick" and everyone seems to be talking about it. The reality is, this is the author's first novel and it shows. She has a lot of growing to do in both the sophistication of the prose and how to tell a good story. The premise of the book is interesting and unique, but the execution is just not quite there. With so many wondeful authors and books out there, and so little time to read, I wish my book club had chosen something else.
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on November 3, 2010
I picked up Secret Daughter with no idea what it was about. I was simply killing time in the school library,and was soon hooked into the story.
However, it did not take long before the author's obvious take on adoption as "saving" children and how the gratitude that needs to come with that is essential put a very sour taste in my mouth.
I also found it offensive how she had her adopted character continually refer to her birth parents as her "real" parents, and used the term "give up for adoption".
This character also makes a very unlikely choice and for a reason along the lines I have already described, when presented with the opportunity to truly find her birth parents.
If I was not an adoptive parent (of one, and soon to be 2 daughters, internationally) maybe I would have been more taken with this story, but as it is, it's okay, but not something I recommend, nor will re-read.
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on December 14, 2010
This book is reasonably well written, has a great storyline and offers good insight into India's people and way of life. Unfortunately it is too light for my taste, often too "chick-lit" in writing style. In my opinion, Secret Daughter has the potential to have been a far more powerful story had it been presented in a different, more experienced way.
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on October 6, 2010
This book was okay. I kept wondering when it would all come together, but I didn't really find that it happened in the end. Perhaps I was expecting the predictable ending and it did not occur, which was a bit disappointing. Some of the characters were a little stereotypical as well. I bought this book but I don't think it will make the reread list.
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on January 3, 2011
Was not nearly as well written as I had expected. Lacked depth; however the story was interesting. Would not recommend to readers who want a novel with real "meat" to it.
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