My most recent read was Anita Kushwaha’s Secret Lives of Mothers and Daughters. A multigenerational novel that is expertly told, Kushwaha masterfully juggles multiple points of views and intersecting story lines. I was deeply moved by both Asha and Mala’s life events, choices, and their individual burdens: personal, cultural, and traditional, that shaped their thinking, emotions, and choices. Peopled with characters both flawed and relatable, Kushwaha displays a deep understanding of character craft and how to translate inner experiences and outer choices into a narrative that is both heart breaking and redemptive. Anita Kushwaha’s Secret Lives of Mothers and Daughters is a must read from a talented new voice in women’s fiction.
From the publisher: A breathtaking novel about the ties that bind mothers and daughters together and the secrets that tear them apart.
Veena, Mala and Nandini are three very different women with something in common. Out of love, each bears a secret that will haunt her life—and that of her daughter—because the risk of telling the truth is too great. But secrets have consequences. Particularly for Asha, a young woman on the cusp of adulthood, who links them together.
After her eighteenth birthday, Asha is devastated to learn that she was adopted as a baby. What’s more, her birth mother died of a mysterious illness, leaving Asha with only a letter.
Nandini, Asha’s adoptive mother, has always feared the truth would come between them.
Veena, a recent widow, worries about her daughter Mala’s future. The shock of her husband’s sudden death leaves her shaken and convinces her that the only way to keep her daughter safe is to secure her future.
Mala struggles to balance her dreams and ambition with her mother’s expectations. She must bear a secret, the burden of which threatens her very life.
Three mothers—each bound by love, deceit and a young woman who connects them all. Secret Lives of Mothers & Daughters is an intergenerational novel about family, duty and the choices we make in the name of love.