Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Review: "A Scandalous Secret" by Jaishree Misra

Neha and Sharat appear to be the golden couple of Delhi. At first glance, they seem to have it all- money, social connections, glamour and class. The two are happily married and childless but they appear to be fulfilled. However, their picture-perfect world is about to be shattered.

When Neha was a young, naive student of 18 she became pregnant. Unable to provide for her unborn child, emotionally or financially, Neha made the decision to give the child up for adoption. She determined that she would never have contact with the child again, vowing to give her a better life. Neha has never told her secret, even to her husband, fearing that it would complicate his political aspirations, but Neha's child, Sonya, is now a full-grown woman determined to trace her roots.

Will Neha and Sharat's marriage be able to survive the revelation of this secret? And will Sonya's appearance in their lives complicate things beyond what they can handle?

Jaishree Misra has penned a poignant novel detailing both the heartbreak of giving your child up for adoption as well as how keeping secrets from your spouse can forever affect a marriage. A Scandalous Secret is women's fiction with heart. The story is well-written and captivating, and it only took me two days to read it. I enjoyed the fact that it felt realistic, that these events could be taking place anywhere in the world at this very moment. Hiding secrets from the ones that you love, even if you feel that it is for the best, is apparently universal.

Armchair travellers such as myself will enjoy this one. I really enjoyed the depictions of life in Delhi. There were so many differences between Canada and Delhi, but at the same time there are so many similarities, and I added Delhi to my list of places that I would one day want to explore when I finished reading A Scandalous Secret.

Well-written, thought-provoking and thoroughly enjoyable, A Scandalous Secret is a book that I can easily recommend to fans of women's fiction and armchair travellers alike. My thanks to HarperCollins UK for providing me with this review copy.

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