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Lucky Boy Paperback – September 5, 2017
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An Amazon Best Book of January 2017: Lucky Boy presents two very different American stories, tied together by the fate of a child. When Soli Castro-Valdez leaves her small Mexican village for the United States, she endures the difficult journey but arrives pregnant and undocumented. Meanwhile, Kavya Reddy, whose parents immigrated to the US from India, is living a more peaceful life with her dot.com-employed husband in Berkeley. Unable to have a child, Kavya becomes a foster parent—and when Soli winds up in immigrant detention, her son Ignacio winds up with Kavya. But the story has just begun.
Author Shanthi Sekaran has written a novel that makes the reader think and feel while avoiding being didactic. Full of three-dimensional characters, the book is colorful and entertaining to the end. You’ll laugh and you’ll cry. You’ll question whether you should pick sides. And if you’re like me, you’ll be glad you picked up this penetrating novel. --Chris Schluep, The Amazon Book Review--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
“Sekaran has written a page-turner that’s touching and all too real.”—People
“Offers a brilliantly agonizing setup....[An] exceptional novel.”—The New York Times
“Pulses with vitality, pumped with the life breath of human sin and love.”—USA Today
“Topical and timely...Sekaran's book invites the reader to engage empathetically with thorny geopolitical issues that feel organic and fully inhabited by her finely rendered characters.”—Chicago Tribune
“With wit, empathy and a page-turning plot, the novel stirs ethical questions . . . that the author rightly refuses to answer. Sekaran has written a tender, artful story of the bravery of loving in the face of certain grief.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“A fiercely compassionate story about the bonds and the bounds of motherhood and, ultimately, of love.”—Cristina Henríquez, author of The Book of Unknown Americans
“Richly emotional.”—Good Housekeeping
“Like M.L. Stedman in The Light Between Oceans, Sekaran presents a complex moral dilemma that leaves readers incapable of choosing sides...A must read.”—BookPage
“Deeply compassionate...Delivers penetrating insights into the intangibles of motherhood and indeed, all humanity.”—Booklist (starred review)
“Both timely and timeless, depicting the comedy and delights of the world as well as its brutalities and injustices.”—Edan Lepucki, author of California
“A moving story.”—InStyle
“Heartbreaking and timely. . . . Explores motherhood and lengths we will go to in order to achieve our dreams.”—Real Simple
“Will leave you spellbound.”—Bustle
“Sekaran is a master of drawing detailed, richly layered characters and relationships; here are the subtly nuanced lines of love and expectation between parents and children; here, too are moments of great depth and insight.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“A heartfelt and moving novel that challenges our notions of motherhood and the true meaning of home.”—Molly Antopol, author of The UnAmericans
“[H]umanizes current discussions of immigration, privilege, and what it means to be an American...Would be a strong choice for book clubs.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“There are few easy solutions to life's toughest problems, but Lucky Boy goes a long way toward putting a humanizing face on them.”—ShelfAwareness
“A gripping, obsessive, character-driven narrative of sacrifice and identity—where the lives of two women become forever tangled in the roots of motherhood.”—Simon Van Booy, author of The Illusion of Separateness
“You'll have a hard time putting down this book, and when you finish it, you'll have a hard time not thinking, and aching, about it for a long, long time.”—Antonio Ruiz-Camacho, author of Barefoot Dogs
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I felt so many emotions while reading this that I'm not sure how I felt about the ending, but one passage from the book sums it up for me. "If this is a story, it's one with no right ending. If this is a dream, it is a dream made solid, a dream grown to a little boy with a waist and shoulders, calves that wrap around his mother's hips."
I wasn't crazy about the ending.
Otherwise, it kept my interest and opened my mood to the plight of immigrants who are attempting to humanize themselves in a country where nobody wants them.