A House for Happy Mothers explores the lengths people will go for family. The characters are nuanced and sympathetic, and the dueling perspectives of a surrogate and the biological mother are commendable.
RT Book Reviews
Priya, a successful Silicon Valley type, has all she could ask for in life, except children of her own. With one miscarriage after another, she fears that she will never have a family. When using a surrogate becomes a viable option, Priya jumps at the opportunity but must deal with all the criticisms and cultural stigma that follows. Regrettably, her mother is one of the worst offenders. Pratap and Asha reside a world away in a tiny hut in a southern Indian village with their two children and little income. Pratap learns of the financial opportunity of surrogacy and convinces his wife to help make money for the family. Though she’s reluctant, Asha agrees. Pratap wants to purchase a home, while Asha wishes to ensure her intelligent son’s future with a solid education. In the end, these two women help give each other what they both so desperately desire.
VERDICT Malladi (The Mango Season) writes a poignant novel from two difficult perspectives that spans several complex and often controversial topics. This title would make a great book club selection.
Melissa Keegan, The Library Journal
A House for Happy Mothers is insightful, moving, and heartbreaking. Completely captivating and eye opening.
Mindingspot Blog [Full Review]
In this timely contemporary novel, Malladi describes the important and controversial issue of surrogate pregnancy with a light and masterful touch.Readers will find their hearts deeply touched by the longings of the two women who become inextricably intertwined in this process of giving and receiving the ultimate gift–the birth of a child.
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, author of The Palace of Illusions and Before We Visit the Goddess
“A wonderful novel that takes you through the journey of surrogacy and the heart-wrenching emotions of those involved.”
Sejal Badani, author of Trail of Broken Wings
How far would you go to have a family, and how far would you go to save the family you already have? In A House for Happy Mothers, Amulya Malladi skillfully and compassionately raises these questions in a thought-provoking, modern-day family saga set amidst the backdrop of traditional Indian and American maternal expectations.
Amy Sue Nathan, author of The Good Neighbor and The Glass Wives
A House for Happy Mothers is a sensitive exploration of the emotional terrain of motherhood and the socio-economic complexities of our global world. Amulya Malladi’s novel contains no villains or heroes, just breathing, living characters who will draw you into their heartbreak.
Shilpi Somaya Gowda, NYT bestselling author of Secret Daughter and The Golden Son
Compelling and filled with insight. Malladi’s voice is layered, and her empathetic powers highly developed. Indian surrogacy is a crucially important and little-considered subject, and Malladi’s novel is thoughtful, enlightening, and moving.
Leslee Udwin, BAFTA award-winning filmmaker of East Is East and India’s Daughter
A subtly nuanced and compassionate look at the controversial “rent a womb” industry, Amulya Malladi’s book is timely and illuminating.
Nayana Currimbhoy, author of Miss Timmins’ School for Girls
A House for Happy Mothers shines an unblinking light on the business of surrogacy in India, and the emotional fallout. Can anything balance the inequality of power between a poor surrogate and a biological mother? A husband and wife in an arranged marriage? A mother and daughter struggling with years of perceived disappointment? Compelling and realistic, Amulya Malladi’s latest release is the perfect choice for book clubs, and any reader with a questioning mind and an open heart.
Lorrie Thomson, author of A Measure of Happiness and What’s Left Behind