Published by Penguin Random House and written by an adept and brave woman writer Shanti Sekaran, Lucky Boy is a heart-wrenching novel that gives voice to two mothers: a young undocumented Mexican woman and an Indian-American wife whose love for one lucky boy will bind their fates together.Penguin Random House’s 1st One World One Book Lucky Boy is one of the most relevant and stirring novels Buzzingtales has come across in the recent times.
Readers of Meg Wolitzer, Junot Diaz, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Jhumpa Lahiri will find Lucky Boy the most important and moving book of 2017. Penguin Random House international team has picked this book as the lead title of Spring 2017, both for its emotional impact and unusual look at the hot-button issues of immigration.
Lucky Boy is not a novel for the weak hearted or those on the look out for a quick-fix popcorn read. Rarely does one come across a book that engrosses one so much that it becomes hard to keep it down before reaching the finishing line. Backed by solid research, a wealth of personal experiences and flawless style of writing, Sekaran delivers a novel that is at once poignant as well as soul-stirring. The journey to motherhood is starkly distinct for both women, yet eminently relevant, emotional and relatable. The book forces one across a stormy journey as the pathetic immigrant situation gains blood, sweat, tears and heart though Soli’s portrayal. There are no wrongs and rights where parental love is concerned. It is a path only different perceptive, feelings and unconditional adore.
The Verdict : Buzzingtales unequivocally verdict is this novel is all set to become a best seller and is here to stay. 5 *
Main Characters & Their Emotional Journey
Solimar Castro-Valdez is eighteen when she embarks on a perilous journey across the US/Mexican border. Weeks later she arrives on her cousin’s doorstep in Berkeley, CA, dazed by first love found then lost, and pregnant. Amid the uncertainty of new motherhood and her American identity, Soli learns that when you have just one precious possession, you guard it with your life. For Soli, motherhood becomes her lifeline, and the boy in her arms her hearth.
Kavya Reddy, a mostly contented chef at a UC Berkeley sorority house, is overwhelmed by the unexpected desire to have a child in her mid-thirties. When she can’t get pregnant, her longing for a child sets Kavya and her husband on a collision course with Soli, when she is detained and her infant son comes under Kavya’s care. As Kavya learns to be a mother, she builds her love on a fault line, her heart wrapped around someone else’s child.
True Voices and Deeply Moving Hot-Button Issues
Themes of immigration (in the headlines everyday), adoption, infertility, motherhood, and minority life are brought to vivid life. Sekaran was inspired by true tales of undocumented immigrant mothers losing their children when forced into detention centers or deported. Her research (visiting Mexico and a detention center) give deep authenticity to Soli’s voice. Sekaran’s own experience as a first generation Indian-American mother makes Kavya’s sections ring with truth.
Shanthi Sekaran teaches creative writing at California College of the Arts, and is a member of the Portuguese Artists’ Colony and the San Francisco Writers Grotto. Her work has appeared in Best New American Voices, Canteen, and online at Zyzzyva and Mutha Magazine. Her first novel, The Prayer Room, was published by MacAdam Cage. A California native, she lives in Berkeley with her husband and two children.
“Remarkably empathetic…Deeply compassionate…Delivers penetrating insights into the intangibles of motherhood and indeed, all humanity.” —Booklist (starred)
“Lucky Boy is both timely and timeless, depicting the comedy and delights of the world as well as its brutalities and injustices. It’s a story about immigration, privilege, and parenthood, and shows us how we are connected, and how we are, perhaps irreparably, divided. It swept me away and took a little piece of my heart with it. It’s a perfect book.” — Edan Lepucki, New York Times-bestselling author of California
“Shanthi Sekaran has written a lush and emotionally wrenching novel, and she has written it in some of the most beautiful prose I’ve read in a long time. This is a fiercely compassionate story about the bonds and the bounds of motherhood and, ultimately, of love.” —Cristina Henriquez, author of The Book of Unknown Americans