A House for Happy Mothers: A Novel
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A stunning new novel—full of wit and warmth—from the bestselling author of The Mango Season.
In trendy Silicon Valley, Priya has everything she needs—a loving husband, a career, and a home—but the one thing she wants most is the child she’s unable to have. In a Southern Indian village, Asha doesn’t have much—raising two children in a tiny hut, she and her husband can barely keep a tin roof over their heads—but she wants a better education for her gifted son. Pressured by her family, Asha reluctantly checks into the Happy Mothers House: a baby farm where she can rent her only asset—her womb—to a childless couple overseas. To the dismay of friends and family, Priya places her faith in a woman she’s never met to make her dreams of motherhood come true.
Together, the two women discover the best and the worst that India’s rising surrogacy industry has to offer, bridging continents and cultures to bring a new life into the world—and renewed hope to each other.
They both stopped talking and smiled at her. “You slept OK?” Pratap asked almost sheepishly. Asha nodded and walked past them to where Kaveri was sitting. She wanted to scream, but she knew better than to contradict her proud husband in front of his brother. “I know,” Kaveri whispered knowingly. Kaveri was peeling potatoes at the dining table they had gotten for free from Raman’s boss, who had bought a new one. The men were in the adjoining TV room. It was a small flat with thin walls; the
family. That was Pratap’s job, but now she was talking like an equal, telling him what she thought they should do. It felt wrong, but it also felt exhilarating, like she had a say in her life. Pratap nodded. “That’s OK. We’ll buy a flat when we have Manoj’s school settled.” “Are you sure?” Asha asked. “Well, I think we should have the security of a home first, but the money is, as you say, also yours, Asha. So if you feel that the school is more important, then that’s what we’ll do,” Pratap
“I hope you’ll enjoy it,” Priya said, watching Madhu be dragged away by Jordan to meet someone. “Krysta is going to be late,” Nina said as she started to walk toward the kitchen. It was Priya’s least favorite room. It was too heavy, all done in dark wood. It didn’t have the cozy feeling a kitchen was supposed to evoke. Priya and Madhu’s kitchen opened onto their dining room and living room—and was the heart of their house with the occasional chipped china and cookbooks with dog-eared pages and
There were straw mats spread around the floor, which was where the women got together to play cards. Pillows covered in lightly stained pillowcases were spread over the mats. The ceiling fan buzzed away while a floor fan swiveled around, its blades moving at dizzying speed. The floor fan had become a necessity as the summer months had progressed. It was always hot in July, but this had been the hottest of them all. Almost all the women had received miniature portable fans that they could put
not sure they were doing the right thing. But there was no point broadcasting that fact. The baby was inside her. That was the end of the story. When Asha had met Doctor Swati for the first time, she had been full of concerns, and the doctor had been kind and compassionate, speaking about the ease of the procedure, the gain for Asha and her family in the end, and the happiness she would give two people. “Not many of us get a chance to give such a big gift,” Doctor Swati said. “You have that