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Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran

Lucky Boy

by Shanthi Sekaran

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2072384,591 (3.99)20
  1. 00
    The Leavers: A Novel by Lisa Ko (RidgewayGirl)
    RidgewayGirl: Addresses the same issues of adoption and undocumented immigration.

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4.5 stars
( )
  Lisa_Francine | Jun 15, 2019 |
Meh. My last novel from the 2018 Tournament of Books. It was a big chunky read, but it didn't amount to a whole bunch. Parts of it felt super-exploitative. There were a bunch of rapes that were incidental to one of the plots and they were treated with the same kind of indifference as another character's work pressures. It never really felt authentic to me, which I understand is a bit of a catch-all but I didn't fully believe in any of the characters or many of the things they did. ( )
  asxz | Mar 13, 2019 |
I wanted to keep reading this novel to see how it panned out and, although I had expected it to take a certain course, it surprised me a number of times. The stories of the two mothers are in different chapters, not necessarily alternating, sometimes the action focuses in one place or another. One woman, Soli, has migrated from Mexico to California and has no papers, the other, Kavya, is Indian-American. Soli is single and has to look out for herself, Kavya is married with a secure job and a loving husband. The details of the detention of illegal immigrants that Shanthi Sekaran describes is brutal and painful to read. She also describes the systems of IVF and adoption. But she manages to keep a story going so that I didn't want to put this down. There is some melodrama at the end which I can forgive but generally an excellent read. ( )
  Tifi | Jan 19, 2019 |
I just completed this book after a marathon read - couldn't even stop to eat! This story of two families, each loving the same little boy, was tragic and filled with conflict and deep love. The story isn't new - a girl leaves her home in Mexico for the US, is undocumented, has a child, and suffers horrific injustice. Also, an Indian American couple deeply desiring a child deal with infertility and eventually are given a foster child who they fall in love with..

What makes this story so compelling is that every day this same injustice is being carried out in the US against undocumented people and their children. I became very attached to things working out for the birth mother - yet felt for the foster parents as they had done nothing wrong and had deeply bonded with the child - no one can totally win here and this first time author kept me hanging on every word. ( )
  njinthesun | Sep 9, 2018 |
The writing is serviceable, but the plot is gripping and Sekaran deftly creates characters who are both sympathetic and complicated. The book worked very well until the last few dozen pages, when she puts her thumb on the scale a bit and manufactures an ending that is a bit too neat. I would have preferred a more ambiguous denouement. Still, this book is unputdownable. ( )
  GaylaBassham | May 27, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
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But leave me a little love, 
A voice to speak to me in the day end, 
A hand to touch me in the dark room 
Breaking the long loneliness. 
In the dusk of day-shapes  
Blurring the sunset, 
One little wandering, western star 
Thrust out from the changing shores of shadow. 
Let me go to the window, 
Watch there the day-shapes of dusk 
And wait and know the coming 
Of a little love.  
--Carl Sandburg, "At a Window"
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Clara, patron saint of television and eye disease, stood three feet tall in the church at the end of the road.
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Book description
Eighteen years old and fizzing with optimism, Solimar Castro-Valdez embarks on a perilous journey across the Mexican border. Weeks later, she arrives in Berkeley, California, dazed by first love found then lost, and pregnant. This was not the plan. Undocumented and unmoored, Soli discovers that her son, Ignacio, can become her touchstone, and motherhood her identity in a world where she’s otherwise invisible.

Kavya Reddy has created a beautiful life in Berkeley, but then she can’t get pregnant and that beautiful life seems suddenly empty. When Soli is placed in immigrant detention and Ignacio comes under Kavya’s care, Kavya finally gets to be the singing, story-telling kind of mother she dreamed of being. But she builds her love on a fault line, her heart wrapped around someone else’s child.

“Nacho” to Soli, and “Iggy” to Kavya, the boy is steeped in love, but his destiny and that of his two mothers teeters between two worlds as Soli fights to get back to him. Lucky Boy is a moving and revelatory ode to the ever-changing borders of love. Amazon
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"A heart-wrenching novel that gives voice to two mothers: a young undocumented Mexican woman and an Indian-American wife whose love for one lucky boy will bind their fates together Solimar Castro-Valdez is eighteen and drunk on 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 single obvious hero. Sekaran has taken real life and applied it to fiction; the results are moving and revelatory"--… (more)

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