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Extended Audio Sample Secret Daughter: A Novel Audiobook, by Shilpi Somaya Gowda Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.03 out of 54.03 out of 54.03 out of 54.03 out of 54.03 out of 5 4.03 (35 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Shilpi Somaya Gowda Narrator: Soneela Nankani Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2016 ISBN: 9781456123314
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Debut novelist Shilpi Somaya Gowda pens this compelling tale about two families, worlds apart, linked by one Indian child. After giving birth to a girl for a second time, impoverished Kavita must give her up to an orphanage. The baby, named Asha, is adopted by an American doctor and raised in California. But once grown, Asha decides to return to India.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “First novelist Gowda offers especially vivid descriptions of the contrasts and contradictions of modern India… Rife with themes that lend themselves to discussion, such as cultural identity, adoption, and women’s roles, this will appeal to the book club crowd.”

    Library Journal

  • “Set in California and the teeming city of Mumbai, Secret Daughter is a beautifully composed compelling story of love, loss, discovery and the true meaning of family.”

    Anjali Banerjee, author of Imaginary Men

  • “Fiction with a conscience, as two couples worlds apart are linked by an adopted child….A lightweight fable of family division and reconciliation, gaining intensity and depth from the author’s sharp social observations.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amber Osborn | 2/16/2014

    " Fantastically written, emotional and invoking. Reflective and meaningful, disturbing, sad, and joyful. Great characters, great traditions, and a great writing about what is most important in life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shelby | 2/9/2014

    " A great easy read. Beautiful story and very interesting to read the two sides of India. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jhen | 2/8/2014

    " great vacation read. Story told beautifully, but a little too fluffy for my tastes. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rasyachari Srinath | 2/7/2014

    " The story deals with the trails & tribulations of two women from two distinct backgrounds and deals with the adoption without making it over bearing.. a simple fluid flow of story telling with limited characters and most importantly such strong characterization of each character.. a few cinematic liberties but i am sure they can be overlooked.. I loved the positive feel the book offered but for some reason i don't think it will be a book, that has a huge imprint on me ! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ellen | 2/4/2014

    " Engrossing story of two mothers who share a daughter in spirit. Cultural insight interesting. Worth reading but ending is disappointingly trite and Hollywood (or Bollywood?). Would make a beautiful movie. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nanci | 1/26/2014

    " The perfect pre read to my trip to India. Thanks Christine. I loved it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leslie | 1/15/2014

    " Interesting story about an Indian mother who spirits her newborn infant daughter away to an orphanage to avoid female infanticide, the California couple who adopt and raise her, and the daughter's search for her birth family years later. The story of the Indian mother is considerably more compelling than the California mother who seemed shallow and one-dimensional, and the story operates best during its Indian segments. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeanne L. | 1/12/2014

    " An excellent book that begins in India in 1984 as a woman gives birth to a daughter. She has already had one of her babies killed because it was a girl and so she chooses to walk to Mumbai to give her child to an orphanage so her daughter has a chance at life. It continues with her, her daughter, and the woman who adopts her through 2009. It gives an excellent look at the different cultures, and the emotions of all three as they go through different stages of their lives. It is absolutely beautiful! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patricia Kimble | 1/11/2014

    " Beautifully written depicting family love in different ways. Interesting themes and good character development. The ending was not what I expected. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lorin Bocian | 1/10/2014

    " I really liked it. the different cultures were intriguing. but I felt like a lot was missed.maybe too much to fit into that length book? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meg | 12/9/2013

    " Really enjoyed this book - many likable characters against a hard backdrop of tough realities of hardship for women in India. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emily Ennis | 12/8/2013

    " Beautiful story showing many aspects of growth through adoption. Illustrating how strong cultural impacts can pull people apart and draw them together. Wonderful heartwarming book! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alicia | 12/6/2013

    " An enjoyable, light read book. It didn't have me hooked as much as I was hoping it would. I think it takes a bronze to the Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sue | 7/20/2013

    " Sweet story and interesting portrayal of life in Mumbai "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tanya | 5/5/2013

    " I did not enjoy this one. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ann | 3/9/2013

    " Awesome, wonderful story! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christina Hickey | 12/10/2012

    " After all the great comments I heard about this book... I was disappointed. Its a 'ok' book but the storyline is very weak. Not much going on. The message in the story is good though "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Giruthiga | 11/4/2012

    " Incredible. A beautiful read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda Peterson | 9/4/2012

    " I loved this book, except for the ending which is not as satisfying as I hoped it would be.. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nancy Avila | 8/10/2012

    " Fantastic read .. Heart felt and sad to know how women are treated in other parts if the world. This is a must read "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marylou | 6/13/2012

    " An interesting look at motherhood along with the destiny of gender, economic class and culture. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tammy Allen | 4/16/2012

    " The Author really took me away to a different Country and Culture the Indian people are truly beautiful people. It was a great story about love, loss and what true family means. The ending I thought was kinda rushed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kristen Hawkinson | 3/11/2012

    " I loved the insight this book provided about life in Mumbai. Many people in the U.S. live in a families that can be torn between 2 cultures near or far. The Secret Daughter gave us a peek inside that world. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Debby | 2/8/2012

    " likes the duo stories "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nikifunaki | 1/9/2012

    " An interesting story told from two viewpoints; an Indian girl adopted by doctors in San Francisco and her mother who was forced to give her up because she was a girl and lives in the slums of Mumbai. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dina | 11/7/2011

    " Riveting story from both perspectives of an adopted daughter! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carolyn | 5/23/2011

    " I love the way the cultures were intertwined. The author was able to build empathy for all the characters regardless of their poor choices. It was easy to see how people can feel lost or as outsiders in their own families and cultures.
    An open ending was perfect for reflecting on the novel. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Leanne | 5/23/2011

    " I had high expectations for this book - sadly, they were not met. I didn't feel connected to any of the characters and felt the story lacked the depth of others I had read recently. The History of Love is hard company to keep... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amar | 5/21/2011

    " I bought this at the airport in Miami for a 2 day business trip and finished more than half on the 2.5 hour plane ride. Its a page turner. I loved it and definitely recommend it!!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rosehip | 5/21/2011

    " After finding out I was adopted just this year this book really helped me through some thoughts going on in my head. A great, moving, exciting book that was hard to put down. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shannon | 5/21/2011

    " I loved this book, couldn't put it down. It describes so much of the Indian culture it made me want to try my hand at cooking some authentic Indian dishes! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marsha | 5/17/2011

    " Interesting story of mothers and daughters and adoption and the ties that bind us together as a family. I felt like Somer was responsible for her own unhappiness in so many ways but she did redeem herself somewhat by the end of the book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary | 5/17/2011

    " Definitely a good book for discussing motherhood. It was interesting reading the contrasts of different culture and changing roles/relationships. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Suzanne | 5/16/2011

    " Great story, well written and nobody was too perfect. a quick good read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Theresa | 5/16/2011

    " Interesting take on adoption and multicaltural marrage from the perspective of all sides. It was a good character driven book. It was interesting and inspiring too. "

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About the Author
Author Shilpi Somaya Gowda

Shilpi Somaya Gowda was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. She holds an MBA from Stanford University, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was a Morehead-Cain scholar. She lives in California with her husband and children.

About the Narrator

Soneela Nankani is a New York–based actress, voice-over artist, and singer. She has worked with the Sojourn Theatre, Classical Theatre of Harlem, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and the Kansas City Repertory Theatre.