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External Reviews. Metacritic Reviews. Photo Gallery. Trailers and Videos. Crazy Credits. Although it is close to pages, I read this unputdownble book at a rapid pace, not wanting to tear myself away.
What a fine balance between plot and theme, events and reflection. His goal is to create an invisibly bordered room of non-toxic, flawlessly healthy and breathable air.
It blends impeccably with the theme of manifest borders and systematic laws that are supposed to be created for the good of its citizens, but also can run roughshod over families and the nature of love and bonds.
It could be summoned and charted. Children and wives could not. Nor could love. She is at a disadvantage being poor in a rich country, but now she has a reason to fight and win under any circumstances.
You root for her determination and empathize with her, as well as Kavya and Rishi, whose privilege obscures an underlying despair.
Eventually, these characters will be fighting the same fight, each certain of their rightness. Invisible and indivisible, cleaving and cleaving the same words with opposite meanings —the narrative will pull you on both sides of an argument, while pushing you to new frontiers of emotion while you witness human truths that parallel ideology and undermine the law.
View all 4 comments. Unexpectedly involving, emotional, heartbreaking, poignant. Lucky Boy turned out to be the hidden gem this year.
This was an emotionally powerful book highlighting some issues with no right answers. It's Bollywood, Telenovela and a soap opera combined, with its cliched, predictable and episodic plot.
The writing is good but not great. But oh was it a riveting story and so incredibly timely with so much substance and poignancy.
It angered me and cause me to explore why a country would consciously Unexpectedly involving, emotional, heartbreaking, poignant.
It angered me and cause me to explore why a country would consciously sustain a system that is so unjust and downright cruel.
This story is mostly guilty of being believable…to the degree that you know the general depth of feelings and emotions and experiences in the novel are authentic.
Sekaran managed to write very convincing and authentic narratives revolving around Indian culture, Mexican culture and American culture.
Many of these items seem stripped from headlines. There was a lot of powerful commentary in this book. This one turned out to be one of my favorites this year.
It asks questions that have no answers. I ached for all of the choices and situations of the characters involved. With the main characters, there is no "bad guy".
Everyone loves and wants what is best for the boy. It turns out that the answer to what's best is not binary and has tremendous nuance.
The author didn't answer that question. Yes, there is an ending, but the determination of whether or not it was the right thing to do is a matter of perspective, values, ethics.
This was a thoughtful, emotional and heart wrenching book that asks the question: Does the end justify the means? Philosophers are still working on that one… 4.
Soneela Nankani and Roxana Ortega were absolutely superb!! Jul 17, Julie Christine rated it it was amazing Shelves: latin-america-theme-setting , best-of , book-club-selection , read , contemporary-fiction , usa-contemporary.
When I retrieved Lucky Boy from the holds shelf at the library, I groaned in dismay. It's the July read for my book club, but no one mentioned at our last meeting that it weighs in at nearly pages.
My mind went immediately to Vikram Seth's A Suitable Boy , which I loved and is admittedly three times longer, but it took me weeks to wend my way through.
I didn't have that kind of time or worse, the needed attention span. Not to worry. Lucky Boy captured me in its opening pages and held me for When I retrieved Lucky Boy from the holds shelf at the library, I groaned in dismay.
Lucky Boy captured me in its opening pages and held me for the scant four days it took to read. Released in early , the novel presciently mirrors the headlines du jour : the travesty at the US-Mexican border of children separated from their parents.
Lucky Boy challenges us to consider how to balance the justice and compassion for undocumented migrants with the need for fair and reasonable immigration policies; how to embrace the American-born children, those so-called Dreamers, whose parents left their home and risked their lives to escape poverty and violence.
In a culture where ethics, compassion, civility and common sense seem to crumble with each Tweet blasted out from Pennsylvania Avenue, Shanthi Sekaran's smart and tender novel makes us feel deeply the controversies that newspaper headlines so often sensationalize to the point of rendering us numb.
Lucky Boy shows two disparate facets of the complicated jewel of immigration- the treasure and curse that built this political and economic entity known as the United States.
One story centers on Solimar, or "Soli", an year-old undocumented migrant who makes the harrowing journey from Mexico to Berkeley, California.
She arrives at a cousin's door, pregnant, tattered, exhausted and with only a few words of English. The other story is that of Kavya and Rishi Reddy, children of Indian immigrants who live comfortable upper-middle class lives.
The lucky boy of the novel's title is Ignacio, or "Nacho", Soli's son who is born a few months after her arrival.
With the help of her cousin, Silvia, Soli finds work as a nanny-maid and for a while, she seems to sliding under the radar and into a new life of possibilities.
She sends money to her parents in Mexico, she learns English, and she gives birth to a baby boy who her employers allow her to carry around in a sling while she cleans their toilets and dusts their nightstands.
Then one day she loses track of their daughter in a playground. By the end of the evening, she is in an immigration detention center, separated from her toddler son.
The Reddy's, living out quiet anguish as unrequited parents in their storybook bungalow, become Nacho's foster parents.
Kavya, so desperate to be a mother that the book's pages fairly twist with her longing and frustration, comes to love her new charge, whom she calls Iggy, with a vital, fierce, and visceral passion.
She lives in fear that the baby will be taken from her; Iggy's biological mother is a ghost-shadow that looms large over their lives. The guilt over her plight, her loss, and the potential destruction she wields add a sense of urgency to Kavya and Rishi's parenting.
The irony of course is that their greatest fear has already been realized by Soli, who spends months in horrific conditions, agonizing over the loss of her child.
To reveal more would be to enter spoiler territory. This is without hesitation a story you should discover on your own. Sekaran treats these thorny, topical issues with lucid empathy and rich characters.
She takes time to build these lives, giving even minor characters weight and relevance. Her prose is a joy to read, clear and lovely.
Highly recommended. For the same reason they lived in Berkeley, knowing the Big One was coming: because it was a beautiful place to be, and because there was no way to fathom the length or quality of life left to anyone.
View all 6 comments. Jan 23, Ace rated it liked it. I think there is just too much to say about this book as it tackles some heavy situations and emotional trauma is rife.
Whether these situations were avoidable was a big question for me for most of the book. By the end, I stopped judging by my own standards and was engaged in the characters as the author intended them to be read, and of the decisions that they made.
Probably not the best written of the books I have read, but certainly engaging and 3 stars I have started this review 3 times now. The Mexican woman in particular is put through the ringer in this book.
She is a young adult when she is gang raped whilst trying to cross the border to the US and the reader does not have much opportunity to distance themselves from emotional impact of this incident.
Later when she is trying to escape from yet another situation she finds herself in, she is repeatedly raped then allows herself to be continually repeatedly raped in order to try to gain an advantage for herself in the future.
Sekaran has woven a rich compelling story here. The novel juxtaposes two women's lives--one a middle class woman living in Berkeley, the other a poor undocumented immigrant.
The latter leaves Mexico on a dangerous journey which leaves her pregnant with limited resources.
Ultimately both women want the same things--the immigrant's baby. The story tackles several issues--immigration, rape, adoption, and foster care.
I work in foster care so inauthenticity in such storylines is a true pet peeve of Sekaran has woven a rich compelling story here.
I work in foster care so inauthenticity in such storylines is a true pet peeve of mine, but I thought Sekaran handled it well. There were instances that were different from the state laws in Illinois where I live, but I know they can vary from state to state and it didn't seem inaccurate, just different from what I know.
Overall Lucky Boy is a beautiful portrait of the complicated relationships that develop when families become intertwined through the foster care system.
Jan 10, Stephanie Anze rated it really liked it Shelves: fiction. Eighteen and naive, she is ready to leave and join her cousin Sylvia in Berkely, California.
Making the treacherous journey illegally into the United States, Soli arrives heartbroken and pregnant at her cousin's doorstep. They have it all except for a child, which they want desperately.
When Soli's son winds up "Acceptance couldn't be graphed. When Soli's son winds up in the care of Kavya and Rishi, it become a race to determine to whom this "lucky boy" belongs.
This was most definitely a timely and relevant read. Soli wants a better future, something that she is unlikely to get in Popocalco. Her cousin Sylvia, who resides in California, tells her there is a job and a place to stay, if she comes.
Soli decides to cross the border ilegally in search a of a better life. Pregnancy was not part of the plan but she adapts and when Ignacio, her son, is born she is elated.
On the other hand, Kavya and Rishi deal with infertility and when unable to conceive on their own, turn to fostering.
Ignacio comes into their lives and they become absolutely smitten by him. When Soli want her son back, its becomes a battle that has no clear winner.
Told in a dual storyline, that of Soli and the Reddys, this was a hearbreaking narrative, dealing with family, love, infertility, illegal immigration and just humanity as a whole.
As the narrative progressed, it became clear that there was no villains, just two moms trying to do the right thing. Words like 'justice' and 'fair' took a different connotation in this book.
Given Soli's circumstances her legal status, or rather, lack of , the Reddys inability to conceive and their growing love for this boy, and a complicated set of immigration laws, where Ignacio should live was a tangled mess.
No matter the outcome, it was devasting. This was no simple matter, it is a moral conundrum. Someone was going to lose. This decision, as to whom Ignacio belonged to, was going to be unfair and unjust to one mother.
The author did a great job in helping the reader see this painful situation from both sides and I empathized with both mothers.
I was deeply invested in this narrative and could easily make arguments both in favor and against of, both, Soli and Kavya.
Books like this are amazing for they make me thankful for my life and help me understand that we can not judge others without being in their shoes.
There are laws and they should respected but I wonder, should humanity and compssion not play a role as well?
Great book. Would definitely reccomend. Nov 20, Susanne Strong rated it it was amazing Shelves: must-read , favorite-authors , five-star-books , netgalley.
My heart is broken. And many tears were shed. Lucky Boy is a gut wrenching, soul searching novel by Shanthi Sekaran that keeps a tight grip on you and won't let go until long after you've read it.
This story is about two women: mothers, who love the same little boy. But only one can will be able to keep him when all is said and done. And who is to say what's fair, what's right or wrong, when a little boy's life and when love is at stake?
Soli is an illegal immigrant from Mexico and she is also My heart is broken. Soli is an illegal immigrant from Mexico and she is also the birth mother of Ignacio "Nacho.
Kavya, becomes Ignacio "Iggy's" foster mother, along with husband, Rishi. Help Learn to edit Community portal Recent changes Upload file.
Download as PDF Printable version. Add links. Putnam . And why not? And how soon? Her life lay elsewhere.
The fireworks family entered the square, pushing the castillo de luces, a tower of scaffolding rigged with rockets and sparklers.
In the big picture, Popocalco was nowhere. In the big picture, it was a thin and spiny stretch of the past. She waited for an hour at the church door, until all her readiness had been sighed away.
Papi wandered off. A brass band began to play, the somber nasal tune Soli had heard every year, for as long as she could remember, at la Noche del Maiz.
She closed her eyes. In a moment, the first sparks would pinwheel through the night. And they would begin, one small explosion followed by the next, a rapturous storm.
Seven minutes. Time was religion in America, Papi had warned her. But then, a layer beneath the noise, a rustle. At first, all she saw were the bushy jut of his chin and the gleam of hair slicked back.
He could have been the Devil in the firelight, for all she could see. He stepped forward. Papi, all at once, beside her. Now this , now here , was a man with a passport.
Manuel would visit the next day to go over their plan. She was leaving! The promise of it stoked a flame that blazed through her. Already, Popocalco, this house of smoke, was shrinking away.
Already, this existence nothing but a distant prick of light. Electrified by the promise of forward motion, Soli stretched up to kiss the sky, growing and growing, until she too was a flaming tower, a castle of light, sparking from the eyes, spitting streaks of joy.
Chapter One Preeti Patel was getting married. Kavya was wearing black. She wanted to surprise her husband, so she tied the blouse herself, guided by the bony hills of her scapulae.
Eight yards of silk, woven with silver thread. At the end hung a swathe embroidered with banyan trees and antlered deer.
She straightened the pleats that cascaded from her hips to her ankles, climbed tidily over her chest and down her back.
She clipped on a pair of heavy silver earrings that spilled down to her shoulders and matched her silver choker. Her feet, she slipped into silver stiletto heels.
Rishi looked up when she emerged from the bedroom. He was striking in a blue silk kurta. He crossed his arms, then walked over and kissed the junction of her neck and shoulder.
The sun beat down as they drove. Coastal waters gave way to outlet malls and farmland. It was warm, even for July.
Kavya was getting over-warm, but when she turned the AC dial, nothing happened. But Kavya knew well this strain of windshield glare.
An open window would bring nothing more than a blast of sick heat. She spun the knob, jiggled it, pounded at it.
She was sweating now, her upper lip itching and beaded in sweat. She grunted at Rishi, who seemed to have no intention of helping.
He glowed in the heat, the way a woman should, his face a collection of plains and fine ridges. He placed a hand on her knee as he drove, which he seemed to think would disarm her.
In the old days, Rishi would have pulled over and inspected the air conditioning himself. Back then, she wondered why Rishi would be interested in her, aside from the fact that she was tall and reasonably fit.
She concluded that a person as immaculately beautiful as Rishi might stop looking for beauty in others. Kavya reasoned that she must have possessed some combination of these—or was it simply the fact that she seemed, for a while, to want nothing to do with Rishi?
The hand on her knee was a gentle plea to please be quiet, to let him drive and think in peace of whatever it was he was thinking. She jerked her knee, and the hand slid off.
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