Book Club

#SITSBooks: Secret Daughter Book Club On Twitter

By Sep 19, 2011January 26th, 201511 Comments

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Our September Book Club Twitter Party is finally upon us!  Have you been keeping up with our Book Club pick for the month?  It is Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda.

Here is a little insight into the book from Amazon:

In her engaging debut, Gowda weaves together two compelling stories. In India in 1984, destitute Kavita secretly carries her newborn daughter to an orphanage, knowing her husband, Jasu, would do away with the baby just as he had with their firstborn daughter. In their social stratum, girls are considered worthless because they can’t perform physical labor, and their dowries are exorbitant. That same year in San Francisco, two doctors, Somer and Krishnan, she from San Diego, he from Bombay, suffer their second miscarriage and consider adoption. They adopt Asha, a 10-month-old Indian girl from a Bombay orphanage. Yes, it’s Kavita’s daughter. In alternating chapters, Gowda traces Asha’s life in America—her struggle being a minority, despite living a charmed life, and Kavita and Jasu’s hardships, including several years spent in Dharavi, Bombay’s (now Mumbai’s) infamous slum, and the realization that their son has turned to drugs. Gowda writes with compassion and uncanny perception from the points of view of Kavita, Somer, and Asha, while portraying the vibrant traditions, sights, and sounds of modern India.

Interested?  Of course you are!

Book Club Details

  • Date: This Thursday, September 22nd
  • Time: 8-9:00 pm CST
  • Where: On Twitter, hashtag #SITSBooks

Most importantly, Shilpi Somaya Gowda, the book’s author, will be joining us for the Twitter party.

Even if you haven’t read the book, jump online!  Chatting with an author about her writing process, how to get a book published, and even, when she finds her inspiration, is a fantastic opportunity!

Shilpi Somaya Gowda

Book Club Questions We’ll Discuss:

  1. Kavita faces a difficult choice at the beginning of the novel. Did she make the right decision? What would you have done if you were in Kavita’s place?
  2. The novel explores the issue of how gender affects one’s role in society, both in India and the United States. Are there any similarities in the female experience across the two cultures?
  3. An overarching theme of the novel is motherhood, and how that experience can change a woman. What are the differences in how Somer and Kavita experience motherhood, and are there any similarities?
  4. Are there universal aspects to motherhood or is it an individual experience? How do you believe motherhood has changed you?
  5. Both marriages portrayed in the novel, despite different circumstances and origins, face significant challenges. How did Kavita and Jasu’s marriage recover from the
    dramatic conflict they faced at the beginning? What caused the estrangement between Krishnan and Somer, and how did each spouse contribute to it? Do you
    believe one marriage is fundamentally stronger than the other? What do you believe the future holds for each couple?
  6. Asha grows up with a deep curiosity about her biological family in India. Is this is a natural curiosity for all adopted children? Could her parents have done anything to lessen the sense of feeling incomplete Asha had as an adolescent? Can her conflict with Somer be chalked up to that experienced in all mother‐teenage daughter relationships, or was it more complicated? What does Asha learn about the true meaning of family, and could she have learned it without going to India?

There will be a ton of topics we’ll be covering, ranging from motherhood, to adoption, to marriage.  Definitely something for everyone.

Looking forward to seeing you there!


  • Tanya says:

    I read this book upon your recommendation, one of my favorite books of all time and cultivated my newly discovered hobby of reading. My family is from India although I grew up in America. I could relate to the characters and really envision the story as it happened from the huge impact my last trip to India 20 years ago made on me. I cried along with Kavita and Sommer And this book really just spoke to me. thanks for the recommendation, hopefully I can join back into the book club, I lost touch with blogging for awhile there…now I’m back!

  • Jean says:

    I am soooo there! Love SITS Book Club parties! And loved Secret Daughter. I read it really fast, hard to do with all we have going on over here, and have recommended it to so many others. Can’t wait for Thursday!

  • Leah says:

    I can’t wait for the Twitter discussion. I absolutely loved the book! Glad to hear she’s writing a second one.

  • Stephan Hilson says:

    The only club that I know is the Joy Luck club book, which is very nice book. But your insights about secret daughter book are very interesting. I was interested on how life will turn out to be for Kavita and her daughters. I will definitely read this book to learn more vibrant traditions, sights, and sounds of modern India.

  • Tanya says:

    Wow, I have been wanting to read this book…too bad I can’t finish before Thursday but may join the twitter party anyway.

    • Francesca says:

      You should definitely join us, Tanya. The Twitter Parties are always a good time. 🙂

  • Looking forward to being there!

  • Bianca says:

    This book was awesome and I can’t wait to break it down with all the SITS book club ladies!

  • Shawntele says:

    I just started the book last night and fell asleep reading, I couldn’t put it down! Looking forward to the book party chat!

  • I will be there! The book was fantastic, and as an adoptive parent it gave me so much to pause and consider.

  • Ginny Marie says:

    These are all great questions! It will be challenge to discuss them with the 140 character limit! 😉