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A heartbreaking, soul-wrenching, lovely and poetic book. Sekaran's two protagonists, Soli and Kavya, play tug of war with your heart and it's impossible to divide their stories into black and white. A politically important novel, because of its portrayal of immigration issues and the people affected by our failing policies, but Sekaran's story is much more than that; it's about love, and the storms we weather to protect it.
— Rachel K.
Oh, my heart. Lucky Boy is exactly the type of book that needs to be read and discussed given the ongoing global public conversation regarding immigration. Ignacio is indeed lucky to be loved so fiercely by his two mothers. Sekaran's debut is beautifully written. Highly recommend.
— Rachel Watkins
January 2017 Indie Next List
“Soli is an 18-year-old Mexican girl who enters the U.S. illegally and gives birth to a baby boy. Rashi and Kavya Reddy are an Indian-American couple in Berkeley who have unsuccessfully tried to have children. Their stories intersect when Soli is arrested and her baby is taken from her by Child Protective Services and given into foster care with the Reddys, who become attached to baby Ignacio and want to adopt him. Sekaran does a good job describing the trials and tribulations of illegal immigrants, and Soli's hope of regaining custody rings true. A compelling read that examines very topical parental rights and immigration issues.”
— Valerie Koehler (M), Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX
A gripping tale of adventure and searing reality, Lucky Boy gives voice to two mothers bound together by their love for one lucky boy. "Sekaran has written a page-turner that's touching and all too real." --People "A fiercely compassionate story about the bonds and the bounds of motherhood and, ultimately, of love."--Cristina Henriquez, author of The Book of Unknown Americans Eighteen years old and fizzing with optimism, Solimar Castro-Valdez embarks on a perilous journey across the Mexican border. Weeks later, she arrives in Berkeley, California, dazed by first love found then lost, and pregnant. This was not the plan. Undocumented and unmoored, Soli discovers that her son, Ignacio, can become her touchstone, and motherhood her identity in a world where she's otherwise invisible. Kavya Reddy has created a beautiful life in Berkeley, but then she can't get pregnant and that beautiful life seems suddenly empty. When Soli is placed in immigrant detention and Ignacio comes under Kavya's care, Kavya finally gets to be the singing, story-telling kind of mother she dreamed of being. But she builds her love on a fault line, her heart wrapped around someone else's child. "Nacho" to Soli, and "Iggy" to Kavya, the boy is steeped in love, but his destiny and that of his two mothers teeters between two worlds as Soli fights to get back to him. Lucky Boy is a moving and revelatory ode to the ever-changing borders of love.
About the Author
Shanthi Sekaran teaches creative writing at California College of the Arts, and is a member of the San Francisco Writers' Grotto. She is the author of The Prayer Room and her work has appeared in the New York Times, Best New American Voices, and Canteen, as well as online at Zyzzyva and Mutha Magazine. A California native, she lives in Berkeley with her husband and two children. Lucky Boy is her second novel.
Coverage from NPR
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