Secret Daughter: A Novel by Shilpi Somaya GowdaSecret Daughter: A Novel by Shilpi Somaya Gowdasticker-burst

Secret Daughter: A Novel

byShilpi Somaya Gowda

Paperback | November 6, 2012

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


“This book is a must for anyone touched by adoption, or India, or the delicate dynamic between adolescent girls and their mothers.”
—Sujata Massey, author of Shimura Trouble


Secret Daughter, a first novel by Shilpi Somaya Gowda, explores powerfully and poignantly the emotional terrain of motherhood, loss, identity, and love through the experiences of two families—one Indian, one American—and the child that binds them together. A masterful work set partially in the Mumbai slums so vividly portrayed in the hit film Slumdog Millionaire, Secret Daughter recalls the acclaimed novels of Kim Edwards and Thrity Umrigar, yet sparkles with the freshness of a truly exciting new literary voice.


Shilpi Somaya Gowda was born and raised in Toronto to parents who migrated there from Mumbai. She holds an MBA from Stanford University and a BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 1991, she spent a summer as a volunteer in an Indian orphanage. She has lived in New York, North Carolina, and Texas, and currently mak...
Title:Secret Daughter: A NovelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.83 inPublished:November 6, 2012Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062262831

ISBN - 13:9780062262837


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful I was intrigued by the story line and not disappointed. One of the best book I have read in years. I have recommended this book to all my reading friends and all have enjoyed it tremendously.
Date published: 2018-01-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Heart Wrenching It is a wonderfully written book about the interweaving stories of the real mom, adoptive mom and baby as they grow up. So many heart feelings- I even bought 2 copies just in case one got ruined.
Date published: 2017-12-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very good Could not put this book down and had to keep reading it well into the sleeping hours. Very emotional book and worth the time and money. Will be reading this one again and recommending to my friends as well.
Date published: 2017-11-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from sooo good! I bought this a few week s ago and such an amazing story... if you liked Lion, then you'll enjoy this gem.
Date published: 2017-11-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A heartwrenching and beautiful story. This book take you through the full gamut of emotions. I couldn't put it down. I highly recommend it.
Date published: 2017-11-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Journey What an emotional book. Loved reading about the wonderful journey and challenges presented to the characters.
Date published: 2017-10-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from wonderful! I really enjoyed this book and sought out others by this author. Well written and interesting story.
Date published: 2017-09-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Favourite book i have read this book multiple times at this point, and yet each time i still get emotional! very well written book!
Date published: 2017-09-14
Rated 2 out of 5 by from no This has to be the weirdest book I have read. What a bunch of descriptive nonsense
Date published: 2017-09-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Exceeds my wildest expectations! I was gifted this novel by a friend and it was easily the most beautiful novels I have ever read. The way Shilpi takes the life of a modern, American woman and that of a traditional Indian women and intertwines their lives is beautiful. 100% recommend!
Date published: 2017-09-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must read! I couldn't put this book down. It makes you travel through the adoption process in India and it's aftermath. You cannot help but sympathize with women who have gone through this experience. It was a well researched and well written novel that will draw you.
Date published: 2017-09-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't Put It Down This book gripped me from the start. This novel is built around some really compelling and heartbreaking topics. This book will educate and open your eyes to a culture us westerners can't even imagine.
Date published: 2017-07-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A great story This was a great read. I enjoyed the dual settings (US and India) and seeing the changes in the lives of the characters. I was hooked on the story from the beginning. Each chapter left me wanting more!
Date published: 2017-07-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book Couldn't put it down. Gave me new insight into adoption and a new culture! Indian culture was well researched and she did a great job at including facts and making a reader be able to relate to the storyline.
Date published: 2017-07-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best book I've read in a long time I bought this book knowing nothing about the author or what the contents of the book were. I picked it up on a Saturday morning and didn't stop reading until I finished the last words. I was so taken by the novel I emailed the author and found much to my pleasure that she took the time to email me back. She too is a wonderful soul, just as the people we meet in the book. I've let friends read it and they too loved it. Her second book, The Golden Son is a must read if you like this author
Date published: 2017-05-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good read Interesting and heart-breaking.
Date published: 2017-05-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good read I enjoyed this book. It was interesting, informative and heartbreaking. Choices made in life can have some devastating consequences. Worth the read.
Date published: 2017-05-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful read! This is one of those books that I enjoy re-reading every few years. It is enjoyable and thought-provoking and gives me the opportunity to experience so many different perspectives from my own.
Date published: 2017-04-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Lovely An enjoyable story that pulls at the heart strings.
Date published: 2017-04-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful & gripping Wonderful story. I couldn't even imagine being in a situation where i'd have to give up a child. Gutt wrenching.
Date published: 2017-03-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Pager Turner I love it so much I was not able to put it down.
Date published: 2017-03-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved it A very emotionally involving story. Any woman who has had to give up a child would understand. I recommended this book to my book clib. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-03-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Well written A wonderful novel that takes the reader on a journey about what it means to be a mother and the struggle of woman. This novel held my attention right until the end.
Date published: 2017-03-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyable AND Insightful This is a thoughtful book, offering insight into the lives of all those who are touched by adoption, which can be compounded by differences in culture. The narrative is sensitive, and shows understanding of what is involved in both sides of many adoption situations. Well worth reading.
Date published: 2017-02-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I loved this! Such a powerful and deep book. It connects to you on so many levels and gives different perspectives of the world and its society #plumreview
Date published: 2017-02-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved it I absolutely LOVE this book.
Date published: 2017-02-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from had some good parts I enjoyed Asha's journey of self discovery but I was not gripped.
Date published: 2017-02-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hard to put down, I loved it!!! This is one of those books that stays with you, the narrative is so good you can almost breath everything, I love the voice the author gives to the 2 lead characters of the book. And this is her first book ever.
Date published: 2017-02-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! Read this story twice in a two years because I enjoyed it so much!
Date published: 2017-01-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I loved it I didn't expect this book to be as good as it was. It was a complex story that I did not want to put down.
Date published: 2017-01-23
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Ok Nice story if you are looking for a quick read. A book for someone who doesn't do a lot of reading.
Date published: 2017-01-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Moving Story A story about her girl, her mother and her birth mom. A touching story that talks about the importance of family. A must read!
Date published: 2017-01-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it This was a really sweet book. It explores some real issues and the characters are really well written. Really enjoyed this.
Date published: 2017-01-17
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Hard to get into I found it a little slow but overall a good story. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read This was such a great book, and so heartbreaking... wonderfully written.
Date published: 2017-01-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting I liked this book and it's details of India and the culture.
Date published: 2017-01-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Book My daughter bought me this book and I just loved it. Great read. When I read a book in a couple of days. Its an excellent read. So enlightening.
Date published: 2016-12-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Similar style as Golden Son 3.5. While I found the writing style and story again to be very surface-level like in the Golden Son, I enjoyed this book more. It was a great concept of the adopted daughter and following both families' opposite lives over the span of 25 years. It was just very predictable and didn't involve big climactic moments. That being said, I still enjoyed it! It was a very uplifting and overall happy story without major bumps in the road to overcome. A rags to riches story in various ways with a good family message interwoven in the story of Asha discovering herself and where she came from. For those who enjoyed Golden Son, you'll also enjoy this book from Shilpi Somaya Gowda.
Date published: 2016-12-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from secret daughter a touching wonderful story
Date published: 2016-12-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome Book One of the best books that I have ever read..... and that's saying something because I have read a lot of books!
Date published: 2016-11-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book I've read this book more than once. I love this story.
Date published: 2016-11-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I love this book! I brought it for the english claas and I found it very touch about the love relationship between a mother and her daughter. I love all the characters and went along with the main character through her jounery. i very must recoomend this book!
Date published: 2016-11-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read! Really touching, everyone in my family read this book and enjoyed it
Date published: 2016-11-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from lovely story this books take you on a nice journey as you follow the lives of the main characters, any lovely relaxing read,
Date published: 2016-11-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this book!! I bought this book awhile ago and the imprint in my mind is quite a strong one. A beautiful and heartfelt novel. I loved that it had various perspectives that covered both the main character and her family, all of whom I could relate to and adore. Unpredictable as well as captivating with amazing insight to India's culture! A must read.
Date published: 2016-11-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book This book is up there as one of my favorite novels. A book that you cannot put down once you start reading #plumreview
Date published: 2016-11-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A lovely novel I normally get frustrated by books that are told from multiple points of view. Here's usually a character that I like less, and I feel annoyed every time one of their chapters comes up. That was shockingly not the case for this book. I came to like all of the characters, and I loved the way the story was woven between them. I also appreciated that the author didn't take the easy way out in the end - it was less predictable than I was expecting. Great read! #plumreview
Date published: 2016-11-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful story I'm adopted and I was intrigued when I first saw this book. Well written as the story goes from birth mother to adoptive parents. An emotional read right until the end.
Date published: 2016-08-19

Editorial Reviews

A No. 1 bestseller in Canada, “Secret Daughter” tells a nuanced coming-of-age story that is faithful to the economic and emotional realities of two very different cultures.