The Shape of Family• Hardcover: 352 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow (March 17, 2020)

“Deeply involving…Rings so true.” — Emma Donoghue, bestselling author of Room

From the international bestselling author of Secret Daughter and The Golden Son comes a poignant, unforgettable novel about a family’s growing apart and coming back together in the wake of tragedy.

The Shape of Family is a novel about race and culture, parents and siblings, marriage and love, but most of all, it’s about finding hope after darkness. Shilpi Somaya Gowda is a compassionate and wise storyteller who keeps us riveted from beginning to end.” — Jean Kwok, New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Translation

About The Shape of Family

The Olander family embodies the modern American Dream in a globalized world. Jaya, the cultured daughter of an Indian diplomat and Keith, an ambitious banker from middle-class Philadelphia, meet in a London pub in 1988 and make a life together in suburban California. Their strong marriage is built on shared beliefs and love for their two children: headstrong teenager Karina and young son Prem, the light of their home.

But love and prosperity cannot protect them from sudden, unspeakable tragedy, and the family’s foundation cracks as each member struggles to seek a way forward. Jaya finds solace in spirituality. Keith wagers on his high-powered career. Karina focuses relentlessly on her future and independence. And Prem watches helplessly as his once close-knit family drifts apart.

When Karina heads off to college for a fresh start, her search for identity and belonging leads her down a dark path, forcing her and her family to reckon with the past, the secrets they’ve held and the weight of their choices.

The Shape of Family is an intimate portrayal of four individuals as they grapple with what it means to be a family and how to move from a painful past into a hopeful future. It is a profoundly moving exploration of the ways we all seek belonging—in our families, our communities and ultimately, within ourselves.

My Thoughts:

The Shape of Family by Shilpi Somaya Gowda is a gripping story containing themes of love, loss, cultural differences, and forgiveness. When an unimaginable tragedy hits the Olander family, the family finds themselves trying to create their new normal. However, as much as they try, the family unit starts crumbling apart instead of coming together. After the first chapter, I was instantly pulled in. The Shape of Family keeps you on your toes as to how the story will unfold.

The Shape of Family is fascinating, emotional, and engaging. While I don’t want to give too much away, this book is full of heartbreaking and heartwarming surprises.  I’ve never read a book by Gowda before, but this won’t be my last.  Gowda’s writing style is powerful and poetic. If you want to read a unique, magnetic, and moving story, The Shape of Family is worth the read.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About Shilpi Somaya Gowda

The Shape of Family
Photo by Stacy Bostrom

Shilpi Somaya Gowda was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. Her previous novels, Secret Daughter and The Golden Son became international bestsellers, selling over one million copies worldwide. She holds an MBA from Stanford University. Shilpi also has a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was a Morehead-Cain scholar. She lives in California with her husband and children. Find out more about Shilpi at her website, and connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Thanks to Trish from TLC Book Tours for inviting me on this blog tour for The Shape of Family. I received a free advanced reader’s copy of this book from the publisher through TLC Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.

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One thought on “Book Review: The Shape of Family by Shilpi Somaya Gowda

  1. I have this one on my list to order, it sounds riveting. Thank you for being on this tour. Sara @ TLC Book Tours

    Posted on April 11, 2020 at 8:45 pm