Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran

“If this is a story, it’s one with no right ending.”  No line has ever rang more true to me than this one from Shanthi Sekaran’s Lucky Boy — the heart breaking tale of Soli, a woman from Mexico, who enters the country illegally to better her life and the life of her unborn child.  Facing horrific obstacles and a grueling journey, Soli makes it to America.  She finds her cousin, Silvia and through her is given a place to stay and gains employ as a housekeeper and nanny for a local wealthy family.   In the same town we also meet Rishi and Kayva, a happily married couple who have tried desperately to get pregnant to no avail.  Watching his wife sink deeper into depression and become increasingly detached from him is more than Rishi can bear.  They consider the wide variety of alternative methods that are available to them outside of getting pregnant — from surrogacy, to fertility treatments to adoption.  Having limited funds, they opt to become foster parents in the hopes of adopting a child that they foster.   Though they have never met each other, Soli, Rishi and Kavya’s lives will collide in ways they could have never imagined and expose them all to heart wrenching love and loss.

Powerful, timely and relevant, Lucky Boy is a bold, eye-opening account of current immigration issues as well as our foster care system.  It humanizes the age old question “what makes a mother?”  and exposes the treatment of undocumented people in our deportation facilities. This is a well researched, beautifully written story and I look forward to Sekaran’s next work.  The book moved slowly initially and it wasn’t until I was half way in to the story that it grabbed me completely – for that reason alone I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

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