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When Caroline meets Kamal the attraction is instant. He’s enchanting, charismatic and she can’t wait to set up a new life with him in India. Both their families are against the union but Caroline is convinced they’ll come round, especially when she gives birth to a beautiful daughter, Asha.
Asha is an adorable child but Caroline, homesick and beginning to hate the remote Indian village they live in, struggles with motherhood. Kamal is hardly ever there and she feels more and more isolated. In the grips of severe depression Caroline flees back to America, leaving Asha behind.
Ten years later …
Caroline recovered from her illness, is consumed by thoughts of the daughter she abandoned. Desperate to find Asha, she reunites with Kamal, intent on tracking her down. Will they ever be able to find their lost daughter? If they have any chance, they must confront the painful truths of the past and a terrible secret that has been kept for many years, until now.
I have always liked India. I think it is a country with very rich culture and so it has always intrigued me. This is part of the reason as to why I decided to get this book. I also liked the cover due to the pretty, little girl. The Lost Daughter of India by Sharon Maas begins with the story of Kamal and Caroline long before they met. The two live in very different worlds. However, fate sought of brings them together and they start a relationship that nobody in their families supported. Soon the couple gets married and then they have Asha but things don’t quite work out so well.
This book focuses on so many different themes through which we get to know the characters. Kamal and Caroline are not really the best parents at first. They both had their own issues and in a way, Asha didn’t seem to be a priority. I especially found myself judging Caroline although sometimes I sympathized with her. I can’t imagine how hard it is to move to a new country with a different culture, language and far from the life and people that one is used to. Nevertheless, I didn’t quite agree with her decision to leave her daughter. On the other hand, I liked Kamal and was more sympathetic to him.
The Lost Daughter of India by Sharon Maas is not an easy to book to read. Through the pages, we get to learn about human trafficking and child prostitution. The stories of these little girls and boys were so heartbreaking. It is hard to imagine that such things happen but it’s a sad reality. Although this is fiction, the book is inspired by reality. I was particularly shocked to find out that one of the scariest stories involving a child prostitute was actually inspired by real events. I mean, what is wrong with society? What kind of a human being does that to a fellow human being?
The Lost Daughter of India by Sharon Maas is a sad but necessary story. It tackles some really heavy themes that need to be addressed and maybe one of the ways to do this is by creating awareness about them. There are a few things about that book that I didn’t really like. There were some aspects of the narration that were just a bit too dramatic especially around the conflict resolution. However, this doesn’t change how I felt about the book. I enjoyed the cultural nuances; arranged marriages, housing, food and languages. The writing was also quite beautiful, poignant and I like the fact that the book had multiple narrators including young Asha. I also like the fact that the author’s note explained not only her motivation for writing this book but also the real situation surrounding the main themes. This is my first book by Sharon Maas and it definitely won’t be the last one.