Saturday, November 11, 2017

*Review* A House for Happy Mothers by Amulya Malladi

Genre: Women's Fiction
Published: June 1, 2016
Pages: 316

A stunning new novel—full of wit and warmth—from the bestselling author of The Mango Season.

In trendy Silicon Valley, Priya has everything she needs—a loving husband, a career, and a home—but the one thing she wants most is the child she’s unable to have. In a Southern Indian village, Asha doesn’t have much—raising two children in a tiny hut, she and her husband can barely keep a tin roof over their heads—but she wants a better education for her gifted son. Pressured by her family, Asha reluctantly checks into the Happy Mothers House: a baby farm where she can rent her only asset—her womb—to a childless couple overseas. To the dismay of friends and family, Priya places her faith in a woman she’s never met to make her dreams of motherhood come true.

Together, the two women discover the best and the worst that India’s rising surrogacy industry has to offer, bridging continents and cultures to bring a new life into the world—and renewed hope to each other.

I won a copy of this book through the Goodreads First Reads giveaway program in the hopes that I would leave an honest review. 

If you are looking for a good book club discussion book, I would definitely recommend A House for Happy Mothers. There were several times during the book where I found myself thinking about how I would react if I were Priya or Asha, and in my book club experience, those make the best questions for discussion. In any case, it was a great book for putting me in other women's shoes, and it helped me to see things from both of their perspectives. I found Priya to be a bit more relatable, almost certainly because our life experiences are more similar. 

While I was reading, I did find myself wondering how accurately the Indian surrogate house was portrayed. It wouldn't surprise me to find out that it was actually a view of a surrogate house through rose-tinted glasses though, and that's really sad. I was appalled at the way the doctor was manipulating Asha, clearly trying to get her to agree to be a surrogate again before she was even finished incubating the first one. And maybe it wouldn't have bothered me so much if Asha had been handling the pregnancy better emotionally, but the doctor showed such little care for the women in her care. It just made me so mad. 

In the end, there are a lot of things that I wish had played out differently in the story, not because they were portrayed badly, but because I wanted a more feel good story to begin with, and there were a lot of times where this story was anything but feel good. I give A House for Happy Mothers 4.12 stars. - Katie 

Read my discussion questions here

Amulya is the bestselling author of seven novels, including her latest The Copenhagen Affair, which will be published in September 2017. Her books have been translated into several languages, including Dutch, German, Spanish, Danish, Romanian, Serbian, and Tamil. She has a bachelor’s degree in engineering and a master’s degree in journalism. When she’s not writing, Amulya works as a marketing executive for a global medical device company. After living in Denmark for 14 years, Amulya moved to California in 2016 and lives in Orange County with her husband and two sons.

1 comment:

  1. I only participate in a young adult bookclub, which is from the school where I work and I'm one of the 'leaders'of the group. But, this book does sounds very interesting and very different from what I usual read. Sometimes we need those feel good stories.