Sunday, January 8, 2017

Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran

"They had wanted to love. They had gone too far."

Parental love, it's obsessive envelopment and fierceness, is the theme of Shanthi Sekaran's moving and thoughtful novel Lucky Boy. I loved the writing, the characters are sympathetic and real, the story heartbreaking.

Kavya and Rishi Reddy have spent their savings on fertility treatments. While investigating adoption they are sidetracked into foster parenting, with hopes of adoption of their foster child.

Solimar Castro Valdez is determined to leave her impoverished Mexican village to find a better life in America. Her journey is harrowing and terrifying, but for Checo, the young man who protects her and with whom she conceives a child. Soli finds her place in Berkeley, CA working for a troubled family that also tries to care for her. Soli's love for Ignatius, her Nacho, is her home, her reason for existence.

When Soli is found to be an undocumented alien she is separated from her son and interned in a series of horrific prisons where she is brutalized and dehumanized. Meanwhile, her son has been welcomed into the Reddy home, newly christened Iggy by Kavya who has fallen deeply in love with the child.

The battle for this lucky boy takes the Reddys and Soli on a journey fraught with dangers, the most dangerous being broken by the loss of one beloved child.

Sekaran's writing is amazing. Her insight into her characters and human nature is spot-on, imparted to the reader in beautiful and insightful language. Anyone who has known couples struggling to conceive, who have turned to adoption, will recognize the Reddy's difficult and emotional journey. I applaud the author for tackling the divisive and politically explosive issue of immigrants and immigrant rights, creating a character who gives a face to the unnamed masses who by any means come to America dreaming of a better life and the ability to improve the lives of family left behind. The descriptions of detention centers, the justice system, and the prejudice encountered will enlighten readers to realities behind the headlines.

I received a free ebook from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

Lucky Boy
Shanthi Sekaran
Putman
Publication Date: January 10, 2017
$27 hard cover
ISBN: 9781101982242