The person who recommended this to me really enjoys books about Indian culture. I’ve also been encouraged to check out Slumdog Millionaire and the Kiterunner by the same avid reader.

Guy review: Rich, infertile couple in the US; poor family in India that doesn’t like girl babies. Adoption agency. Boom goes the dynamite.

Gal review: Meh.

I didn’t hate it. Which is good.

(I have a hard time feeling strong emotions toward books these days. Perhaps the sign of a well-read woman?)

I’m a fan of books with happy endings, but I also like endings that are slightly believable. But believable that sacrifices happy isno bueno. It’s a tricky combo that works for me. So The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime was interesting, but ultimately meh because the ending was meh. Time Traveler’s Wife was terrible (though very interesting) because the ending was believable but the exact opposite of happy.

The benefit of this line of thinking is that if the entire book is unreasonable then the ending can do pretty much whatever it wants. I have already checked out of the “I care” portion of reader-dom. As long as it’s “happy” I’m good.

Begin with a sad, poor Indian mother who desperately wants to keep her babies. The husband has already killed one, post-birth. Also begin with a sad, rich American wannabe mother/doctor (pediatrician!) who desperately wants a baby. The Indian mother defies all odds to get her latest baby girl to an orphanage. The American mother defies no odds to travel with her Indian husband to India, where she throws several tantrums after encountering a (surprisingly?) different culture from her own.

Also, she never lets the girl visit India. Or the husband’s family. The poor Indian family lives a life of squalor, eventually having a boy, who becomes a drug dealer and makes them tons of money. They end up in a nice house in a good part of the city, but they’re ashamed of him. The American family ultimately breaks up over the parents’ poor treatment of their daughter’s nationality (Dad vs. Mom). The daughter goes to live with her (unknown) Indian grandparents, where she is totally embraced and loved by them, so much so that they disregard centuries of tradition when grandpa dies and they have the adopted female do the ceremony. But they still don’t like the Mom much.

This book got more and more unreasonable as the story progressed. So, by the end of it, I wasn’t expecting much. And I didn’t get much. But it was kind of a happy ending, and decently believable. So it gets a meh rating instead of a total crap.

Don’t judge me. It’s how I keep reading.

Worth: about $3.50

Secret Daughter
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