When I start reading a novel, I’m usually drawn to one of three things; either the plot, which is comprised of the main sequences that make up the story. It’s how the author organizes the events, determining the structure of the narrative. It’s also important that an author creates three-dimensional characters, “people” I come to know. I don’t have to necessarily like those characters, but it takes a special talent for a writer to develop such “people” on the page.
Finally, I’m intrigued by the locales authors are setting today’s contemporary novels. One day the narrative can be set in an Arizona trailer park, then another at a five-star resort on the French Riviera and then this novel, THE GOLDEN SON (William Morrow), by bestselling author, Shilpi Somaya Gowda, situated in a small remote village, in India.
THE GOLDEN SON has all three of the above-mentioned elements; a fascinating setting, well-developed and intriguing characters and a plot that holds your attention, so you’re compelled to keep reading once you begin the novel.
“The Golden Son,” Anil Patel, is the first one in his family to go to college. He carries the weight of his family’s expectations when he leaves his tiny Indian village to become a doctor in Dallas, Texas, at one of the most cut-throat hospitals in America. When his father dies, Anil becomes the de facto head of the Patel household and inherits the mantle of arbiter for all of the village’s disputes. He must take a monthly phone meeting with India to fulfill his duty. He’s uneasy with the custom, not sure he has the wisdom and he’s also trying to adjust to his new culture and job in America.
Back home in India, Anil’s closest childhood friend, Leena struggles to become the “good wife” her demanding husband and his relatives want. Arranged by her parents, the marriage shatters Leena’s romantic hopes, and eventually forces her to make a desperate choice that holds drastic repercussions for her and her family. Though Anil and Leena struggle to come to terms with their identities thousands of miles apart, their lives eventually intersect once more, changing them both and the people they love forever.
I loved THE GOLDEN SON. As an American, it introduced cultural traditions completely unknown to me. I often found myself angry by how the women were treated, but I was reacting based on my upbringing. I was saddened by how Anil and his friends were treated by ignorant and prejudice Americans, and unfortunately that ignorance and intolerance still exists.
THE GOLDEN SON reveals so many opposites those caught between two cultures face – the past and present, tradition and modernity, duty and choice and the painful decisions made to find true selves. But at its heart, THE GOLDEN SON is about family, honor, tradition, identity and love.
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About Shilpi Somaya Gowda
Shilpi Somaya Gowda was born and raised in Toronto to parents who migrated there from Mumbai. She holds an MBA from Stanford University and a BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 1991, she spent a summer as a volunteer in an Indian orphanage. She has lived in New York, North Carolina, and Texas, and currently makes her home in California with her husband and children.
Find out more about Shilpi at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.
Thanks to TLC Book Tours http://www.tlcbooktours.com and William Morrow Publishing we have one copy of THE GOLDEN SON to giveaway. Just leave a comment about a tough decision you felt stronger after making … something about family would be great, but share whatever you want! We’ll choose a winner Monday. Good luck.
You can always check out other reviews and news about my novel, “Viewer Discretion Advised” at http://www.cindyroesel.com Have a great weekend.