Skip to main content

A House for Happy Mothers - Amulya Malladi

The theme of this book is emotional, ethical and even practical - Surrogacy.

When I received this book for review I was happy yet apprehensive. I was of course honoured to be considered as a reviewer but at the same time I was a little anxious as I wasn’t sure how deeply I would be affected by the theme. Having worked within the fertility industry for a few years now, terms like surrogacy take on a strictly professional guise and this book by delving into the story of a mother and her surrogate sharply reminded me of the emotional turmoil that the process inevitably creates.

A House for Happy Mothers is the story of Priya an NRI living in California who has a successful career, secure home and loving husband but is unable to become a mother “naturally” and Asha a poor woman living with her husband and two children in a small Indian village who is fertile, yes but for whom material comforts are a far off cry. Both their stories run parallel to each other and the manner in which the “voice” of the narrative changes is not at all abrupt. Their stories come together through a surrogacy home in India run by Dr Swati  - ‘Happy Mothers House’.

The interactions that ensue among the characters from conception, first, second and third trimester and finally birth are emotionally exhilarating. As usual, Malladi’s characters come out strong and effective. Priya’s husband, parents and in laws, Asha’s family, the staff and other surrogates at the surrogacy home and even Priya’s mother’s friends! An interesting feature that runs through the course of Priya’s story is that of an online support forum which I felt was very clever given the sensitive nature of the whole process. This is in stark contrast to the comments suffered by Priya at social gatherings e.g. [a friend to Priya] “I mean, you don’t have to go through labour and delivery. Athar (friend’s husband), we can have a cricket team if we can have the rest of the babies that way”.

When one deals with such a sensitive topic, it is so easy to get sucked into focusing on only one aspect of the process e.g. the emotion. However, Malladi does well in ensuring that whilst the emotions flow as a steady undercurrent, the other aspects of surrogacy including practicality, financial stability and most importantly co-dependence are not neglected.

I just realised that my previous post also dealt with Malladi’s work! I have certainly come to enjoy her books and will definitely be looking out for more. Her next book is set to release in 2017. Until then, I am happy that I have her previous books to catch up with!


Popular posts from this blog

Sab Moha Maya Hai - For The Sake of Valentine's Day!

14th February, Valentine’s Day. A day we are told we must “celebrate” as it epitomises this wonderful emotion that we as humans are capable of – Love.

“So, what are your plans for the day?” I was asked this question about a million times today and all I said was “Oh! I don’t know, I’m very unromantic!” to which I got responses like “But it’s the day of love” or “Come on! you need to celebrate love!” and so on. Having reflected upon this small talk that people often engage in to ease the awkward silences, I felt the need to put my thoughts to paper about the difference between romance and love as I find the two are often confused- one for the other. Romance is an expression of love, not love itself. Love is when you consistently strive for the wellbeing of another despite it causing you discomfort or pain. It is unconditional, not based on trivialities like tokens of affection which have sadly come to become measures of the extent of love. If you buy me a cake, you love me 30%, a design…

Flesh and Bone and Water - Luiza Sauma

I was delighted to receive this book for review from Penguin UK. Having grown up with memories of the Penguin logo in almost every bookshop I visited, it felt wonderful to be recognised as a reviewer by this world renowned publishing house. 'Flesh and Bone and Water' has nothing to do with South Asia. However, the commonality it shares with the region is that it is set in Brazil, a place that is often referred to as also being part of the 'third world' group of nations. "It's easy to leave a place when you're young. Coming back is harder. That's my advice : stay where you are." And so begins this beautiful novel which I would term as part coming of age and part an immigrant's journey from Brazil to Londres (London). More importantly why does the protagonist Andre venture back on a journey to his childhood home? The author Luiza Sauma has very poignantly narrated the story in first person so it feels like Andre is telling you his own story. You…

Serving Crazy With Curry - Amulya Malladi

Food! - That wonderful part of our existence that not only plays the essential role of providing daily sustenance but is also an archetype of culture and tradition. For me, food is a meaningful catalyst to creating unforgettable memories and associations. There are certain foods that I associate with certain events or significant people in my life. I also seek comfort in food be it a hot bowl of dal rice after a hard day at work or a sneaky piece of chocolate as a reward for achieving something (Yes, I do apply the principles of behavioural psychology to my own life!)
I first came across Amulya Malladi’s books in London’s local libraries. I was impressed that her books are well stocked which is an indication of their popularity. I read a couple of these books and soon found out the reason for this. Two words – Writing and Characters! Her writing is immensely engaging and her characters threaten to come alive page by page. This certainly applies to ‘Serving Crazy with Curry’.
Devi, our …