Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran
Where I Read: While traveling to Waco, TX to visit Magnolia Market at the Silos
Stephenie’s Goodreads rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Some books continue to come across your path. Over and over again they appear, which I have come to understand as the universe’s way of telling me to pick it up and read it already! Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran was one of those books. I enjoyed this one, but I’m not gonna lie…the subject matters made it hard to read.
This book contained some major issues, namely undocumented immigration, foster parenting, and infertility.
Just one of these subjects is heartwrenching, but weaving all three made this timely story difficult to read. Ultimately, this story is about motherhood and the strong love that two women have for the same child. The novel shows us two women’s lives: Kayva, a cook for a sorority living in Berkeley, and Solimar, a poor undocumented immigrant from Mexico who finds herself pregnant following her journey across the border. Kayva and her husband, after struggling with infertility decide to become foster parents. This choice eventually unites them with Solimar’s son, Ignacio, leaving no room for a happy ending to the story. It was unavoidable. Someone has to be left brokenhearted.
I went back and forth with my feelings of what I hoped would happen to these characters. I would start rooting for one side and then flip-flop to the other. I love it when a book makes me do that. When the author creates characters that you emotionally connect to in such a strong way. Due to the subject details, it was clear that the author had spent time doing her research and it certainly pained me to think that there are women that live Solimar’s story in real life.
This story not only tugged at my heart but also deepened my understanding. We hear sound bites about issues like undocumented immigration, infertility, and foster parenting, but often do little to further our knowledge on the subjects. Even though this is a book of fiction, the stories aren’t so farfetched that you can’t picture them taking place in real life. And no matter where you personally stand on the issue, this book helps to open your eyes and soften your heart to see what it must be like for the people actually experiencing it.
Both heartfelt and brutal, I would recommend this book. I was torn, and frankly disappointed in the ending but there was no way to give it a happy one. When the author does a great job of presenting both sides, you finding yourself rooting for both sides. I was disappointed with the ending and I’ve heard other readers echo my sentiments. But, please do NOT let that keep you from reading this poignant story.
Have you read this book? Did the story make you want to throw the book across the room? Did the ending make you hug it to your chest, never wanting to let it go?
I would love to hear your thoughts! Leave your comments below and share your own review.