'Dazzling. Intense and gritty at times, sparkling and hilarious at others. I found it absorbing, witty, joyous and moving…and that’s all I really want from a book!' - JO BRAND
'Warm and witty' Sunday Times
'The gifted Syal does it again' Indpendent
HOW FAR WOULD YOU GO TO GET THE LIFE YOU CAN'T HAVE?
Shyama, aged forty-eight, has fallen for a younger man. They want a child together.
Meanwhile, in a rural village in India, young Mala, trapped in an oppressive marriage, dreams of escape.
When Shyama and Mala meet, they help each other realise their dreams. But will fate guarantee them both happiness?...
Brimming with warmth, wit and indignation, Meera Syal immerses us in a devastating story of friendship, family and the lengths we will go to have a perfect life. THE HOUSE OF HIDDEN MOTHERS is her long-awaited third novel and shows Meera Syal at the height of her literary powers
'Brilliant. It is destined to be a bestseller.' - ESTHER FREUD
Syal (Life Isn't All Ha Ha Hee Hee) tackles family drama and the new India in one fell swoop. Second-generation British Indian Shyama never really imagined she'd have another child after her first marriage ended in divorce. But now the 48-year-old salon owner and her much-younger boyfriend, Toby, are fixated on having a baby, much to the annoyance of Shyama's college-aged daughter, Tara. When IVF treatments fail, the couple turns to surrogacy, an option that is much more affordable in India than elsewhere in the world. But Toby and Shyama's pursuit of parenthood is complicated not only by Tara's personal crises and the latest chapter in Shyama's parents' Dickensian legal battles over New Delhi real estate, but also by their ethically nebulous personal involvement with the surrogate mother, Mala. Narrated primarily from Shyama's point of view, with occasional glimpses into other characters' outlooks, this ambitious novel offers some interesting insights into India's changing social climate, particularly its intersections with class and gender. But in trying to be a romance, an intergenerational saga, and political novel, it outreaches its grasp.