Priya and Madhu seem to have it all. There is however one thing which Priya yearns for and which is missing. Her own baby. Three miscarriages and three failed IVF attempts at enormous cost have seen Priya and Madhu saddened by both the process and the result. Madhu is resigned to their childlessness and is frustrated that Priya cannot move on.
The question of surrogacy comes up and they decide upon a home in South India run by an efficient doctor with proven results. A baby is conceived and the plan set in motion.
The story then turns to the surrogate mother. Asha is a bit different to the other mothers. She went into this for the money. They have an exceptionally gifted little boy of five and a little girl. They have no home of their own and Asha and Pratap her husband see this as the only way of going forward. Asha did not expect to have contradictory feelings of guilt and love for the child, distaste and dislike for Priya and her modern ways and to feel that she has not made the right decision but is being swept forward on a tidal wave of other people's needs and wants. In her inner mind, she knows that the net result would bring happiness to another couple, bring happiness to her own small family but still Asha is not happy.
The author Amulya brings all these contradictory strands together smoothly in a story that brings out the best of all the worlds. The problems facing both the surrogate parent as well as the sponsor parents, the fringe around them of lucrative benefits to those who can organise such things such as the clinics and doctors who benefit immensely from these transactions. At the end it is a transaction with benefits to all - but it is a need that is supplied and ultimately satisfactorily to all the parties concerned. In this instance anyway.
The story holds your interest from the beginning to the end. Characterization was brilliant and the story was an emotional as well as a balanced one.
Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review courtesy of Lake Union Publishing.