G.P. Putnam's Sons
10 January 2017
Solimar Castro Valdez is eighteen and dazed with optimism when she embarks on a perilous journey across the US/Mexican border. Weeks later she arrives on her cousin's doorstep in Berkeley, CA, dazed by first love found then lost, and pregnant. This was not the plan. But amid the uncertainty of new motherhood and her American identity, Soli learns that when you have just one precious possession, you guard it with your life. For Soli, motherhood becomes her dwelling and the boy at her breast her hearth.
Kavya Reddy has always followed her heart, much to her parents' chagrin. A mostly contented chef at a UC Berkeley sorority house, the unexpected desire to have a child descends like a cyclone in Kavya's mid-thirties. When she can't get pregnant, this desire will test her marriage, it will test her sanity, and it will set Kavya and her husband, Rishi, on a collision course with Soli, when she is detained and her infant son comes under Kavya's care. As Kavya learns to be a mother--the singing, story-telling, inventor-of-the-universe kind of mother she fantasized about being--she builds her love on a fault line, her heart wrapped around someone else's child.
Lucky Boy is an emotional journey that will leave you certain of the redemptive beauty of this world. There are no bad guys in this story, no obvious hero. From rural Oaxaca to Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto to the dreamscapes of Silicon valley, author Shanthi Sekaran has taken real life and applied it to fiction; the results are moving and revelatory.
A deeply moving story. A fairly written book with loving parents and a lucky boy. This is one of the books that had its root planted in my heart firmly and simply unforgettable.
Disclaimer: I received the ARC from PRH Global in exchange of my honest review.
There’s one word I keep on seeing in the reviews of this book – timely. However, when I read the book and learnt about Soli’s immigration experience, it shows that the issue exists for very long just that it’s forgotten and perhaps neglected.
Soli is young, indeed too young to be a mother in my view. At first I thought Soli is just being reckless on her actions but the more I read, the more I pity her. Soli’s brutal experience in getting into US, trying to be a miserable part of US society and her fight in getting reunited with her son are unbearable to me. Every moment when she’s hurt, my heart aches for her.
On the other hand, Kavya and her husband, Rishi, struggling to live their American Dream life and also trying to build their own family – to have a child. The journey on becoming parents in a day isn’t easy so I highly respect the courage of Kavya and Rishi on adopting Iggy.
I love the writing of the author. It’s indeed no bad guys and no obvious hero in this story. All I can see is the boundless and limitless love of two mothers.