Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Golden Son

The Golden Son is author Shilpi Somaya Honda's second novel.  It is the story of Anil Patel, the oldest son of his family in Panchanagar, India.  He is the first to read in his class and the first to memorize math tables.  While he is expected to inherit his father's farm one day, his father knows he will be a doctor and encourages him to continue his education.  When he is 17 he leaves home for medical college in Ahmabadab, leaving behind his family, friends and especially his best friend Leena.  After gaining acceptance into a medical residency at Parkview Hospital in Dallas, TX Anil leaves everyone behind and travels to the U. S.

Leena marries someone else while he is gone but the marriage is marred by her demanding husband and abusive in-laws.  Anil on the other hand struggles with adapting to American culture and the most difficult part of his life, being an intern at Parkland.  While he used to be good at everything it seems that Anil cannot get anything right in his new position.  A few years later Anil and Leena see each other again and struggle together with their past and present circumstances.

Loved, loved, loved this novel. The characters of Anil and Leena were sympathetic.  They both had heart wrenching challenges to deal with as they each broke with tradition in a different way. Their old-school parents Mina and Jayant Patel and Nirmala and Pradip were stereotypical Indian parents and I loved reading about all the cooking Mina did.  I wish I knew how to make those foods.  The family arguments between the Patel brothers was also interesting to watch as each tried to carve out their own destinies within the family business.

This family saga was fun reading.  Give it a try.  5 out of 5 stars!

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