I’ve been looking forward to this book since Malladi announced it on her blog last year. I’ve read all of her books and especially loved A Breath of Fresh Air, which I’ve read more than once. It makes me cry. The House for Happy Mothers didn’t do that, but it’s still a poignant read.
Priya and Madhu live in California. They are happily married and successful, but have been unable to have children. So, as a last resort, they turn to a surrogate in India. Unfortunately, this has become somewhat of an industry among the poor women of India.
Asha, the surrogate, is doing this in order to give her young son, Monaj, a better education. Monaj, you see, is extremely intelligent, as in genius, but, as poor as they are, he’d never have the opportunity for an education equal to his aptitude. Her husband, Pratap, would also like to purchase a flat, like his brother has, to give his family a stable home.
I liked Asha and sympathized with her and the other women throughout. What they do is a very difficult thing. I can’t imagine it. To carry a child within your womb for nine months, nurturing it, feeling it move, going through the pain and sweat and blood of childbirth, then giving the child to strangers. And, while I liked Madhu, it took me a bit to really warm up to Priya. Mostly because she was just so blind where Dr. Swati was concerned. Dr. Swati was a cold, manipulative bitch and so was her niece. You can’t help just getting so angry on behalf of the women in that half. I gave a resounding “It’s about time!” when Priya finally clued it. I also gave a little cheer when she stood up to Sush.
The end of the novel is very happy-sad in a good way. I liked this book very much.
Rating: 4.25 out of 5 stars