Ah...books about India. To me, India is one of the most wonderfully exotic countries to run away to when reading a good book, and really...who better to take you there than Mitali Perkins?
Secret Keeper is the latest from this fabulous author and is filled with all the lush description, pure emotion, and true character connections as her previous novels. We are introduced to Asha, a young girl traveling to Calcutta to live with her grandmother's family with her sister, Rasha, and her mother, while her father is in America looking for work. Living with anyone's family is difficult, but Asha, Reet, and their mother must truly sacrifice themselves to live with Baba's family.
Strict familial rules must be followed at all times, including Asha spending more time doing "girl" things and not playing the sports she so loves. Mother is under a thick cloud of depression almost all the time and poor Reet is in danger of being married off quickly. Without their father there to protect them and stand up for them, the girls are becoming unhappy and their spirits broken.
Asha writes down her thoughts and emotions in her diary and manages to make a friend with the neighbor in the process, helping her to deal with the day to day struggles she has begun to have to endure. When news about her father finally arrives from America, it is anything but what Asha and her family are expecting, resulting in even more severe change and consequences in their lives and a time when Asha's strength must shine through brighter than ever.
A beautifully written novel, I would recommend this to anyone familiar or unfamiliar with Perkins' previous work and for all library shelves. A true cultural experience, filled with amazing characters and rich description, Secret Keeper is just lovely and Asha will become a good friend.
I read this for the Spring Reading Thing Challenge.
To learn more or to purchase, click on the book cover above to link to Amazon.