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Shilpi Somaya Gowda Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Secret Daughter (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Golden Son (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Shape of Family (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Great Country (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Shilpi Somaya Gowda is an award-winning and NY Times bestselling Canadian author of Indian origin. She has written a few widely successful books in her career in the contemporary and adult fiction genres. They include The Golden Son, Secret Daughter, Last Carnival of August, The SHape of Family, etc. Gowda was born and brought up in Toronto, Canada to parents hailing from Mumbai. She studied at Stanford University and earned an MBA. Gowda also holds a Bachelor’s Degree from North Carolina University, Chapel Hill in Economics. When she was in college, she volunteered for an entire summer vacation in an orphanage in India. Her experience motivated her to write her debut book, Secret Daughter in 2010.

The book not only became the number one international and New Times bestseller, but also underwent translations into more than 30 languages. Gowda’s debut novel was shortlisted for the prestigious SA Boeke Literary Prize and received nominations for other popular awards such as the IndieNext Great Read, Chapters Indigo Heather’s Pick, IMPAC Literary Award, Target Bookclub Pick, and Amnesty International Bookclub Pick. Following the worldwide success of her first novel, Gowda took some time before she began working on her next book, The Golden Son. It was published after a gap of 5 years in 2015. This book became a top bestseller and received nominations for many literary awards. The first two books of Gowda’s career have sold more than 2 million printed copies all over the world.

During her time at North Caroline University, she was made a Morehead Cain scholar. Author Gowda has even served on the Children Defense Fund’s Advisory Board and has been a Chilhaven International Patron, which is an organization that she volunteered for in India. Gowda’s first novel explores the consequences of female infanticide, which is still prevalent in many Asian regions. The book revolves around a girl child born in a village in India, who gets abandoned because of her gender and ends up getting adopted by a Californian couple. In the book, Gowda has traced the lives of the biological parents of the girl, her adoptive parents, and that of the girl over a period of 2 decades. After the immense successes of her first couple of books, author Gowda received a deal from HarperCollins for publishing her third book. It was included in the Most Anticipated Books list by ChaptersIndigo, Library Journal, CBC Books, Philadelphia Inquirer, Vancouver Public Library, Chatelaine Magazine, and several others. As of today, Gowda resides in California along with her beloved husband and their kids.

The debut book written by author Shilpi Somaya Gowda is entitled ‘Secret Daughter’. It was released by William Morrow publication in 2015. The primary characters mentioned in this book include Kavita Merchant, Krishnan Thakker, Jasu Merchant, Somer Thakker, Asha Thakkar, and Sarla Thakkar. Initially, it is depicted that Somer Thakkar’s life has shaped the way she hoped it would. She has recently married and has begun her new career in San Francisco as a physician. But, Somer receives the shock of her life when she learns that she won’t be able to become a mother. At the same time, a mother from a poor background is forced to take the heartbreaking decision of giving away her newborn girl to save her life.

The mother, Kavita Merchant, goes on to get haunted by her decision for her entire life. Also, the decision causes a ripple effect that undergoes a journey through the whole world and comes back. The destinies of Kavita Merchant and Somer Thakkar are bound by the adopted child named Asha. Gowda’s story follows the two families that are invisibly connected until the journey of self-discovery undertaken by Asha brings her back to her country of birth as she searches for her biological parents. This book is deeply touching and compulsively readable. It describes a story about the unforeseen manners in which the choices of people and their family affect their lives. Through this novel, Gowda has also talked about love’s indelible power that keeps people connected in times of struggle and difficulties.

Another exciting novel penned by Gowda is called ‘The Shape of Family’. It was published in 2019 by the HarperCollins publication. Gowda has created the lead characters in this book in the form of Jaya, Keith, Prem, Karina, and several others. She has set the plots in Philadelphia, California, and London. This book describes the tale of falling apart and coming together of a family in a tragedy’s wake. The book opens by introducing Jaya as an Indian diplomat’s cultured daughter and Keith as an ambitious banker from a middle-class family in Philadelphia. They come across each other in a pub in London in 1988 and decide to spend the rest of their lives together.

Following their marriage, Keith and Jaya move to California and become parents to a girl named Karina and a boy named Prem. The strong marriage of the couple is built on love for their kids and shared beliefs. Karina is depicted as a headstrong teenage girl, while Prem is shown as the light of the family. The prosperity and love of the family are unable to protect them from an unspeakable, sudden tragedy and lead to the cracking of the family’s foundation. As a result, every member finds it very difficult to move forward. Jaya indulges herself in spirituality, while Keith focuses all his energy on taking his career forward.

Karina looks to become independent and forge a successful future for herself. And while everyone else takes different paths, Prem helplessly watches his family drifting apart. Later, Karina joins college. Her search for belonging and identity leads her to a dark path. It forces her and others to deal with the family’s past as well as the secrets that they had kept hidden so far. This book is an intimate description of the lives of 4 people, who struggle to come to terms with being a close-knit family. They find themselves failing even more as they try to overcome their painful past and hope for a better future. The critics believe that this book is a profound and moving exploration of the many ways in which people seek belonging in their families, communities, and within themselves.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Shilpi Somaya Gowda

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