Review: Lucky Boy

by Shanthi Sakaran
Random House/G.P. Putnam's Sons 2017

Lucky Boy’s contemporary setting in rural Oaxaca, Mexico and urban Berkeley, California (and places in between) provides a cinematic panorama for several complicated family dramas. The main characters, Solimar (a refugee from Mexico) and Kavya (American-born daughter of affluent South Asian immigrants), seem to have little in common apart from their desire to become the best possible mothers. Soli falls pregnant by accident, whereas Kavya battles infertility. When Soli is detained by immigration and threatened with deportation, Kavya yearns to adopt Soli’s infant Ignacio. Birthing a child into an uncertain world is a choice that rarely comes easy for anyone. I don't want to spoil the many suspenseful plot turns, but Lucky Boy is brimming with instances when fate plays catch-and-release games with each character. Big themes will entice book groups: life/death, freedom/imprisonment, doubt/certainty, love/loss. San Francisco Bay Area author Shanthi Sekaran uses a nuanced, wide-angle lens to explore the hot-topic issue of "who belongs" in the United States of America at this moment in history. Well-written, compelling, a must-read.



Karen Lewis