Attention, Everyone, Attention!
Today we’re sending some extra special balloons all the way up to the Fire Escape to congratulate uber-talented author Mitali Perkins on the release of her new young adult novel, Secret Keeper (Delacorte, 2009)!
I’m extra thrilled and excited, because I so loved Monsoon Summer, Rickshaw Girl, and the First Daughter books. Once again, Mitali explores the conflict between feminist ideals and traditional values.
SECRET KEEPER by Mitali Perkins
(Delacorte, 2009), young adult, 240 pp.
When her father must leave Delhi to look for work in America,16-year-old Asha Gupta, her depressed mother, and older sister, Reet, must stay behind with relatives in Calcutta. The women find themselves in an unwelcoming and much more restricted household, where they are forced to abide by Uncle’s wishes. Asha soon seeks sanctuary in her rooftop hideaway, where she records all her woes and frustrations in her diary, or "secret keeper."
Breaking a house rule, she secretly befriends the boy next door, Jay Sen, who paints her portrait. How can it be that Jay’s attentions are focused on Asha instead of her beautiful sister, Reet? When tragic, unexpected news about her father arrives, Asha must make some tough decisions that will change their lives forever.
Secret Keeper has already received some glowing reviews:
"Asha’s struggles will enlighten and inspire young women, and encourage them to value their own freedom." (Kirkus)
"The plot is full of surprising secrets rooted in the characters’ conflicts and deep connections with each other. The two sisters and their mutual sacrifices are both heartbreaking and hopeful." (Booklist)
It sounds beautiful and poignant, and I can’t wait to read it — I know the cultural references will be fascinating, and it will be interesting to immerse myself in 1970’s India, and be reminded of the freedoms I’ve had as an American female that I’ve always taken for granted.
And now, please join me in congratulating Mitali by partaking of this special soup bouquet,
(Secret recipe, of course.)
and the perfect complement, samosas!
More about the book, including detailed reviews and a book trailer, can be found at Mitali’s website. Purchase Secret Keeper through IndieBound, or click on through to your favorite online bookseller!
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