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Secret Daughter & How to Be an American Housewife

I finished Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda back in September. I realized last week that I had yet to share my thoughts here. This book was my book club’s October pick. I think as a whole we liked it.

None of us have ever traveled to India, so the parts that described India, it’s culture, especially involving the lives of women were very interesting. The big city life & such wide range of poverty & richness were fascinating.

Of course the struggle to be a mother & then the discussion of what defines a mother captured my heart. It seems I’m finding infertility&¬† pregnancy every where these days. My book club friends & I wondered if we could do what the mothers in this novel did ~ they’re strength is remarkable in such different ways.

We spoke in book club how such different pictures of marriage were depicted in this novel & we debated who’s was better or stronger.

I enjoyed Secret Daughter a lot. I liked the back & forth narrative between the characters & because of that, by the end I felt I really connected with each of the main female characters. I’d definitely recommend this to women’s book clubs or it read on your own.

Just to put it out there, this is not a paid review; I wasn’t chosen to be part of BlogHer’s How to Be an American Housewife Book Club {sad face}. But I’d heard it was good from a bunch of other places too & it was a short list at the library, so I was looking forward to reading the book.

I finished¬†How To Be An American Housewife by Margaret Dilloway while I was in Edenton two weeks ago. I zoomed through it in just four nights {I might’ve stayed up until past midnight that Thursday because I had to know what happened}. Margaret did a great job {at least I thought so} making me feel what it would be like to be thrown into the life on an American housewife in post-WWII. I’d never really pondered the thought of the American way of cleaning, housekeeping, child-raising, cooking & what a wild experience that must look to someone from another country.

My favorite part~ that we followed Shocko’s story right up to the climax, then Margaret switched things on us as the readers. I loved following along with the story from all the perspectives.

Again this novel is Asian based. I was telling friends last weekend that I’ve read more books this year either with Asian characters &/or set in Japan or China. I’ve learned so much about these cultures & their history that I haven’t been bored. In fact, up next is another Asian book, the sequel to Shanghai Girls, Dreams of Joy which is my book club’s December pick.


  1. Megan W says:

    I’m always on the lookout for good books, so thanks for these recommendations. While you’re on an Asian kick, have you read Girl in Translation? I just finished it and thought it was great. A quick, easy read but the story was very compelling.

  2. Erika says:

    I LOVED The Secret Daughter!! I cried through the last three chapters. Though, I have to admit, I did see the ending coming.

    I’m loving How to be an American Housewife, too. When I pick it up, I read a quarter at a time, but it’s been hard to find the time to pick it up lately. I can’t wait to see how it ends now. I’ll try to make time to finish it up tonight. I agree with you so far. I think also think the author did a great job.

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