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Baby an easy narrative that ignores the complex emotions involved in carrying a child Syal turns this phenomenon into a compelling thoughtful novel already hailed in the UK as rumbustious confrontational and ultimately heartbreaking Turns the standard British Asian displacement narrative on its head The GuardianCompulsively readable and with a winning voice The House of Hidden Mothers deftly explores subjects of age class and the divide between East and We. Reading this so soon after Amulya Malladi s A House for Happy Mothers it s hard not to compare the two While I loved the mother in Malladi s book the mother in this book was insufferable not the surrogates but the mothers paying the surrogates

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The House of Hidden Mothers

Shyama a forty eight year old London divorcée already has an unruly teenage daughter but that doesn't stop her and her younger lover Toby from wanting a child together Their relationship may look like a cliché but despite the news from her doctor that she no longer has any viable eggs Shyama's not ready to give up on their dream of having a baby So they decide to find an Indian surrogate to carry their child which is how they meet Mala a young woman trap. This is a read that at times is uite magnificent It is a story that attempts to blow the doors off the myth that is traditional Indian life a story of Indian life love and surrogacyThere are two women at the heart of this story Shyama is in her mid 40s a divorced single parent a business woman with bright red streaks in her hair and a new lover Toby who is white and 10 years younger than her As you can imagine there have been times when she has not been afraid to go against the traditional view of how an Indian woman should behave Yet at heart she still feels the ties to India and her family with her parents living at the end of the gardenMala is a young village girl living in poverty At the start of the read she considers herself lucky to have an indoor tap in her home However when her husband comes to her with a plan to earn some money she soon realises that the means to transform her life forever are within her graspI really liked the way the author told this story about surrogacy in India I didn t realise before I read this book that India is the surrogacy capital of the world and I imagine that not many people realise that unless they have a specific need to know it As with other issues in the story the author weaves all the background information into the story in a very natural way I felt I was learning without being info dumped uponIt is a story that really hammers home a message about the way in which women can be treated in India with the brutality violence and rapes including the murder of unwanted female babies There are some uite shocking moments here In addition there are the two subplots to do with Shayama s parents and their long running legal battle to claim back possession of their flat in Delhi as well as that to do with Tara Shyama s daughter There were the odd moments when I felt that these subplots took away from the main thrust of the book just a little bit but taken globally they do add to the whole feel of the story and it would be less of a read without themThe characters are really well created With the story moving uite slowly at first with the introductions I really felt that I was getting to know them They felt very real and believable I was thinking about them when I wasn t reading about them In all it really is a wonderful read which at times will make you smile will shock you but will certainly keep you reading to find out what happens Many thanks to the publisher for the review copy

Meera Syal Û 2 Characters

Ped in an oppressive marriage in a small Indian town from which she's desperate to escape But as the pregnancy progresses they discover that their simple arrangement may be far complicated than it seemsIn The House of Hidden Mothers Meera Syal an acclaimed British actress and accomplished novelist takes on the timely but underexplored issue of India's booming surrogacy industry Western couples pay a young woman to have their child and then fly home with a. I LOVED this book The writing is beautiful and the story emotional funny engaging and heart rending Especially loved Prem and Sita


10 thoughts on “The House of Hidden Mothers

  1. says:

    The title of this book should have been Bad Things Happen Because they do one after another Shyama is a forty something divorcee trying for a baby with her younger and whiter boyfriend Toby With biology no longer on her side they travel to India to find a surrogate What happens when they meet this woman Mala makes up all the drama and tension that follows Simultaneously Shyama is trying to deal with her angry

  2. says:

    This is a read that at times is uite magnificent It is a story that attempts to blow the doors off the myth that is “traditional Indian life” a story of Indian life love and surrogacyThere are two women at the heart of this story Shyama is in her mid 40s a divorced single parent a business woman with brigh

  3. says:

    Very decent writing marred by a ridiculous twist and a reference to a historical event that couldn't have been out of place and jarring

  4. says:

    For my full review see here read and loved Anita and Me earlier this year I was intrigued to see her third novel was being released

  5. says:

    I LOVED this book The writing is beautiful and the story emotional funny engaging and heart rending Especially loved Prem and Sita

  6. says:

    This is a tale of two very different women living in two very different societies In East London successful businesswoman

  7. says:

    45 starsIt had begin with companies moving their call centres towards the rising sun so what was wrong with outsourcing babies there too?Shyama is fast approaching middle age but is defying her London Asia community with her happy and successful relationship with a slightly younger Toby Already mother to a college student from her former husband the broody couple have been trying for a baby but are told that is simply isn't goin

  8. says:

    I was interested in reading largely because the author features on the TV show Loose Women and she is such a st

  9. says:

    Reading this so soon after Amulya Malladi's A House for Happy Mothers it's hard not to compare the two While I loved the

  10. says:

    I would love to give this book a much lower rating simply because it made me SO angry particularly the ending But the writing was lovely the characters felt real and the story while difficult was worth reading