Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Book Review Club (October 2011)

Welcome one and all to the THIRTY-FOURTH meeting of our Book Review Club. (The caps are my shock at such a robust number of meetings!!)

Today you are in for many treats. We have terrific reviews, starting with one by my little sister! There she is, above and to the left, eating Indian candy. Next to her is her daughter/my niece noshing on a samosa (which you can't see, but is there nonetheless). The food goes with the book reviewed.

Do you see the smile on my little sister's face? It's because she's sharing a book she absolutely loves.( And maybe a little bit because of the candy.) Thanks for joining in this month, Sheilagh! You're the best!

SECRET DAUGHTER by Shilpi Somaya Gowda

Secret Daughter, Shilpi Samaya Gowda’s first book, is about motherhood. The story follows two families, one in India and one in America. Americans Somer and Krishan adopt Asha, Kavita’s birth daughter.

Kavita lives in a small village in India, in a culture that favours sons. When she gives birth to her second daughter, there is only one way she can save her from the same fate as her first daughter. Barely a day after giving birth, Kavita walks all day to Mumbai with her sister, carrying her new baby, and leaves her in the orphanage. It is the only time Kavita defies her husband, Jasu. She never forgets this daughter and often imagines reuniting with her.

On the other side of the world, Somer, after several miscarriages, agrees to consider adoption. Her husband, Krishan, who was born in India, encourages her to adopt a child from India, and they end up adopting Kavita’s daughter, Asha.

The story follows the lives of Somer, Krishnan and Asha, who wishes to know more about her birth parents, as well as Kavita, Jasu and their much anticipated, but disappointing, son. Throughout the story, the author shows the relationships between family members and the difficulties they face over time, leading up to Jasu’s moving recognition of Kavita’s bravery.

This story will tug at your heart strings long after you've closed the book.

To read more about Shilpi Somay Gowda and watch an interview with her, please click here.

Below are amazing reviews put together by amazing reviewers. All for you. Please click through.


Jody Feldman: DOING THE GALAXY GAMES: THE CHALLENGERS by Greg R. Fishbone (Middle Grade)

Staci of Life in the Thumb: THE EMERALD ATLAS by John Stephens (Middle Grade)

Kaye of the Road Goes Ever Ever On: THE GRAVEYARD BOOK by Neil Gaiman (/Middle Grade/Young Adult)

Stacy Nyikos: ACROSS THE UNIVERSE by Beth Revis (Young Adult)

Beth Yarnall: THE GIRL IN THE STEEL CORSET by Kady Cross (Young Adult Steampunk)

Lucy Sartain of Ranting and Raving: THE OPPOSITE OF INVISIBLE by Liz Gallagher (Young Adult)

Sarah Laurence: YOU ARE MY ONLY by Beth Kephart (Young Adult)

Keri Mikulski: LIPSTICK LAWS by Amy Holder and POPULAR by Alissa Grosso (both are Young Adult)


Jenn Jilks of Cottage Country: ROBOPOCALYPSE by Daniel H. Wilson

Patti Abbott: TURN OF MIND by Alice LaPlante

Stacy of The Cat's Meow: THE VIRGIN SUICIDES by Jeffrey Eugenides (literary)

Kathy Holmes: LEARNING TO SWIM by Sara J. Henry (Women's)

Scott Parker: HEAT RISES by Richard Castle (Mystery)

Alyssa Goodnight of the Writers' Road Less Traveled: A HUNDRED THOUSAND DRAGONS by Dolores Gordon-Smith (Mystery)



Ellen Booraem of Freelance Ne'er-do-well: PHYSICS OF THE FUTURE by Michio Kaku (Adult)

Note to Reviewers: Any errors (broken link, missed review, etc), just shoot me an email or leave a comment. Thank you so much for your reviews!


  1. Yet another story that will tug at my heart strings! I’ve just been “tugged” with the last three books I’ve read. What’s one more? I can take it. This book sounds wonderful.

  2. I know what you mean, Beth. We need to space them out. :)

  3. This one sounds both heart-wrenching and uplifting. (Not to mention fascinating!) Thanks for a great review. And I LIKE the idea of matching your reading snacks to your book!

  4. Hooray for adoption stories. I am so glad I was chosen. (I met my birth mother!)

  5. Jenn, I love adoption stories, too. I'm particularly looking forward to reading this book (I already bought it) for 2 reasons:1. my sister recommended it, and I always read what she recommends 2) My child #4 is adopted from Korea

  6. Sounds awesome! Thanks for the review. I'm off to check out the others.

  7. This is the second glowing review I’ve read of this novel. Nice review, Barrie’s sister! Thanks for hosting, Barrie.

  8. Sarah, I think my sister will get a chance to read all these great comments, once she's done with work for the day. She's a teacher.

  9. So many good books. So little time. And a book you can eat Indian food to. Sounds tantalizingly good.

  10. Stacy, yeah, and I haven't had a decent curry in a while! ;)

  11. I add my approval for the "reading/eating" idea--and that Indian candy looks as good as the book sounds! (I'm going to keep an eye out for this one.)

    Now, what to read, what to read...Like Water for Chocolate? The Chocolate Wars? Chocolat?

  12. What a terrific pic, Barrie. And many fine suggestions.

  13. Great review. I added this one to my TBR pile. Thanks bunches. :)

  14. Ellen, I like the way you think! Now I just have to find a book that begs me to eat licorice while reading!

  15. David, thank you! My sister and her daughter are quite photogenic, aren't they?! ;)

  16. Keri, after our long talk about motherhood, I think we'll both get something from this book.

  17. This sounds very good. My niece and nephew are adopted, so I'm very interested in the subject.


Comments are always welcome!