Published by Lake Union Publishing on June 1st 2016
Genres: Fiction, Literary, Contemporary Women, Family Life
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.
In A House for Happy Mothers we follow the journeys of a mother-to-be and her surrogate. Californian Priya is desperate for a baby and has had several unsuccessful pregnancies. Her last-ditch attempt is hiring a surrogate in Southern India. Asha has two children of her own but gets talked into the surrogate role to make extra cash to afford a better education for her gifted son. This topical novel sheds some light into the growing surrogacy market in India and the ethical implications of outsourcing pregnancy.
This is an emotional read that sheds some light on an issue I hadn’t heard too much about. The story is written in dual pov so we see the side of the intended parent and the surrogate. Priya’s desire to be a parent consumes her, and though her husband Madhu doesn’t share her obsession, he supports her efforts. Asha resents having to take on the surrogate role though she agrees for the sake of her son’s future, and at the urging of her husband. Both sides have misgivings about the situation though hope it will satisfy both their needs in the end.
Asha and the other surrogates stay at the house for “Happy Mothers” as they prepare to give birth. Some of the mothers are not too happy in fact but choose to be surrogates up to three times to help provide for their families.
This read provides food for thought about a controversial topic and would make an excellent book club selection. Author Amulya Malladi handles this heavy subject with a light touch and it’s an engrossing read.
A House for Happy Mothers is on sale now.
About the Author:
Amulya Malladi is the author of six novels, including The Sound of Language and The Mango Season. 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, she works as a marketing executive for a global medical device company. She lives in Copenhagen with her husband and two children.
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