Gowda expertly captures the conflict of emotions felt by Kavita, Somer as well as her husband Krishman and Asha/Usha who is the daughter. Even after Kavita has the longed-for son, it can never fill the void left behind by her daughter, and despite doing everything she can to give her son the best life, it may not be enough. Secret Daughter does for Indian culture and women what A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini does for Afghani women, albeit slightly less successfully. It gives you a look into the culture and controversy of families have sex-selected abortions ("spend 200 rupees now and save 20,000 rupees later") as well as the differences between the lives of men versus women and rich versus poor. There were a few times when I felt that the book was more general than I would have liked, but I suppose that is the nature of reading a novel instead of a non-fiction history book. Overall Gowda successfully weaves the two stories together, simultaneously educating and touching the heart of the reader.
Want to win your own copy of Secret Daughter? Simply leave a comment letting me know your favourite novel that taught you about a different culture. Must be a follower to enter. Open to the US only, PO Boxes are fine. Winner will be selected using random.org and will have 72 hours to respond or a new one will be selected. Giveaway ends August 17th at 11:59 MST. Good luck everyone!