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Secret Keeper ✩ Secret Keeper pdf ❤ Author Mitali Perkins – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk When Asha travels with her mother and sister from Delhi to her father s ancestral home in Calcutta, it is supposed to be a temporary measure only as soon as her father finds work in distant America, t When Asha travels with her mother and sister from Delhi to her father s ancestral home in Calcutta, it is supposed to be a temporary measure only as soon as her father finds work in distant America, they will join him In the meantime, there s plenty to keep her busy overcoming the stultifying conservatism of the extended family becoming friends with her cousins keeping her mother s depression at bay teaching a lesson to the neighbourhood boys who don t think girls are good enough fending off her sister Reet s unsuitable would be suitors and so on Overwhelmed by the things happening around her, Asha escapes to her rooftop hideaway every day and pours her heart out into her diary, her Secret Keeper It is here that she encounters Jay, her reclusive neighbour a brilliant artist who makes her heart beat fasterBut soon, disaster strikes, putting at risk Reet s future And it is up to Asha to save her family and escape their prison, even if it means courting heartbreak for herself.


10 thoughts on “Secret Keeper

  1. Janessa Janessa says:

    The Secret Keeper is the story of sixteen year old Asha, an Indian girl on the cusp of adulthood, who must move to her uncle s home with her mother and her sister when her father leaves Calcutta to find work in New York Asha feels acutely the injustice imposed on her by the cultural traditions that rule life in her Uncle s home As a child she was given the freedom to pursue her own interests, whether they were viewed as masculine or feminine Now she must accept her role as a traditional India The Secret Keeper is the story of sixteen year old Asha, an Indian girl on the cusp of adulthood, who must move to her uncle s home with her mother and her sister when her father leaves Calcutta to find work in New York Asha feels acutely the injustice imposed on her by the cultural traditions that rule life in her Uncle s home As a child she was given the freedom to pursue her own interests, whether they were viewed as masculine or feminine Now she must accept her role as a traditional Indian woman Her resistance makes her something of a feminist role model, and challenges the reader to consider complicated, but important, questions How does one find an individual voice in a life defined by tradition When does tradition empower the individual When does it inhibit What kind of sacrifices does it require Is it worth those sacrifices For Asha, those questions come into focus when she meets a young man named Jay His bedroom window is situated across from Asha s roof top, where she often escapes to think and write in solitude Jay is an artist, and at the beginning of their friendship, he tells Asha that he has an offer to go to New York to study and teach Asha is excited for him, but he tells her that he doesn t want to go She cannot understand why he wouldn t want to escape the strict pressure of Indian life, but for Jay, the traditions that Asha sees as inhibiting enrich his perspective and make him who he is, both as a person and as an artist.Things get complicated after that, and soon everyone Asha loves is forced to make major sacrifices, out of loyalty to each other, and in honor of their traditions For Jay, that means leaving India for the job in New York Will he continue to find inspiration in the life and traditions he is leaving behind, or does his departure show a turning away from tradition in favor of greater freedom for individual expression and choice And what about Asha, who must abadon her own hopes of going to New York some day We see Asha lose so much in this book so much that she loves But she manages to gain something that, maybe, is worththan all that she says goodbye to a measure of independence A chance to pursue her dreams All this she does while upholding the traditions that are so important to her mother and her father s family.In our modern American society, where tradition tends to be valued only inasmuch as it empowers the individual, Perkins story offers a valuable perspective about loyalty, family, and sacrifice And also courage and hope It opens the door to another culture, and a window into the lives of those who have made great sacrifices in order to have the choices that we take for granted every day


  2. Kirby Kirby says:

    Mitali Perkins is a wonderful writer and evokes India through smells, tastes and sounds, as well as through vivid visual descriptions And Asha s the teenage Benali girl who is the main character fight to be less constricted in the 1970 s brought back memories of my own teenage years and challenges during that time The family relationships are wonderfully drawn, but this ended up being a hard book for me to review This is no fault of the author but the reader I don t think I fully understoo Mitali Perkins is a wonderful writer and evokes India through smells, tastes and sounds, as well as through vivid visual descriptions And Asha s the teenage Benali girl who is the main character fight to be less constricted in the 1970 s brought back memories of my own teenage years and challenges during that time The family relationships are wonderfully drawn, but this ended up being a hard book for me to review This is no fault of the author but the reader I don t think I fully understood the cultural s and values of this time period in India, which made it difficult to accept Asha s ultimate decision


  3. Arminzerella Arminzerella says:

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here Asha and Reet have had to move in with their father s family while he is looking for work in America They aren t happy about it, as they have to stay inside most of the time, and their grandmother and relatives aren t very kind to them or their mother When Reet acquires a persistent admirer, who goes so far as to make a marriage proposal, Asha does something drastic to humiliate him and force him to withdraw his suit Her whole family is embarrassed and ashamed by her behavior she dresses up Asha and Reet have had to move in with their father s family while he is looking for work in America They aren t happy about it, as they have to stay inside most of the time, and their grandmother and relatives aren t very kind to them or their mother When Reet acquires a persistent admirer, who goes so far as to make a marriage proposal, Asha does something drastic to humiliate him and force him to withdraw his suit Her whole family is embarrassed and ashamed by her behavior she dresses up as a boy and beats him in a tennis match , but it does allow Reet to express her true feelings about the marriage that she is too young to marry Soon after, however, they receive word that their father is dead, and the girls learn what trapped really feels like Reet and her mother withdraw from the world as they grieve, and it s up to Asha to find a way for them all to be happy She has secretly made a friend of the young man next door, Jay, and they have fallen in love, but she asks him if he will marry her sister instead the younger sister should never marry before the elder This angers both Reet and Jay, but Jay agrees to it His family is wealthy and can help support Asha and her mother, who have been invited to move back to Bangladesh to stay with Asha s best friend s family while Asha goes to university The compromise allows them all to breathe a bit easier.I loved Asha s spunky tomboy nature she was irrepressible and bucked tradition whenever she could It gave her a strength that the other women in her family seemed to lack For those who are curious about other cultures and traditions, this has a wealth of information about the structure of Bengali families and society and the culture especially as concerns the place and rights of girls women wives I didn t care as much for Asha s diary entries as secret keeper , or her mother s character I m sort of torn, too, between accepting Asha s decision as the best under the circumstances Jane Austen would have written it differently, but, then, she and Mitali Perkins are working with different cultural norms I keep telling myself that Asha barely knew Jay their meetings were brief, they never touched, they barely saw one another Can a few words exchanged from a window and a rooftop be the basis for an enduring relationship Maybe not But I did want them to have their chance at happiness


  4. Brigid ✩ Brigid ✩ says:

    I liked it It was sad, and I thought it could have had a tighter ending But it was a compelling story with a great protagonist It was good.


  5. Alicia Alicia says:

    It wasn t one of my favorite Indian stories because I wasn t invested in Perkins style of writing Her characters fell flat and I wasn t left wanting to find out the secrets.


  6. Louisa Louisa says:

    I read this book in one sitting Well, technically two sittings, but only because it had gotten too dark outside to keep reading and I needed to turn on a light.It s short and the pacing is quick, but it sure does hammer home strong emotions I lost track a bit of how time was passing sometimes it seemed like the narrative hopped ahead by weeks and sometimes by hours but overall a solid read that left me with a bit to think about At first I was annoyed by how quickly Jay and Asha apparent I read this book in one sitting Well, technically two sittings, but only because it had gotten too dark outside to keep reading and I needed to turn on a light.It s short and the pacing is quick, but it sure does hammer home strong emotions I lost track a bit of how time was passing sometimes it seemed like the narrative hopped ahead by weeks and sometimes by hours but overall a solid read that left me with a bit to think about At first I was annoyed by how quickly Jay and Asha apparently developed feelings for each other despite the book showing very little in terms of their actual conversations, and then I was incredibly frustrated by everything about the last 30 or so pagesso make of that what you will I m a walking contradiction or something


  7. Margi Margi says:

    When their father heads to the United States for work and promises to send for them soon, Asha a quiet novel When their father heads to the United States for work and promises to send for them soon, Asha Reet must move into their uncle s house with their extended family Secret Keeper explores gender roles, family and traditions in India in 1974 Recommended for grades 7 12 a quiet novel


  8. Deanna Day Deanna Day says:

    Historical fiction 1970s, relationships between sisters and daughters mothers, identity, marriage, Indian culture, friendship.This is one of the best books I have read this year I didn t want the book to end This book reminded me of Keeping Corner that came out a couple of years ago.Once Asha who is 16 becomes a woman she must stop playing tennis and cricket, grow her hair out and wear sari s This is difficult for her because her parents have treated her like a boy and then in one day they Historical fiction 1970s, relationships between sisters and daughters mothers, identity, marriage, Indian culture, friendship.This is one of the best books I have read this year I didn t want the book to end This book reminded me of Keeping Corner that came out a couple of years ago.Once Asha who is 16 becomes a woman she must stop playing tennis and cricket, grow her hair out and wear sari s This is difficult for her because her parents have treated her like a boy and then in one day they expect her to let go of her freedom At this same time her father is unable to find a job in India and moves to the USA in hopes of finding an engineering position Asha, Reet sister , and mother go to stay with their uncle until father can send for them Uncle s family isn t that welcoming to this threesome Asha uses writing to help her survive Her solace is the rooftop where she pours her heart out in her journal She also reads aloud to her 2 neices and tells them many stories to pass the time On page 55 there is a wonderful paragraph where she talks about books, She d already demolished the few books she d brought along They were dead, at least for a while Certain stories could come back to life on the second, third, and even tenth reading if you gave them enough time between encounters Asha dreams of becoming a psychologist so that she can become a mender of the mind and help people release their secrets so that they can be free While at their uncle s house, Reet and Asha learn many of their mom s secrets that she has been holding for years Asha also has a secret she begins a friendship with the boy next door Everyone should read this book You will not be able to put it down There are many new secrets revealed and story lines that you don t expect


  9. Ann Ann says:

    Perkins gives another beautifully written book with characters readers care about The rich details of place and culture underscore the deep emotions Asha, Reet and their mother feel at dislocation and grief I loved the images of depression as The Jailer and a psychologist as a mender of minds I did not find the ending to be satisfying, but given the theme of fairy tales and how Asha emphasizes that real life doesn t have a happy ending, I think this author choice was true to the story, the Perkins gives another beautifully written book with characters readers care about The rich details of place and culture underscore the deep emotions Asha, Reet and their mother feel at dislocation and grief I loved the images of depression as The Jailer and a psychologist as a mender of minds I did not find the ending to be satisfying, but given the theme of fairy tales and how Asha emphasizes that real life doesn t have a happy ending, I think this author choice was true to the story, the time and the possible choices for these young women s lives I m ready for a sequel to show how each sister s life changed and how she might have been able to carve out her own identity despite difficult choices How about a book with alternating chapters in each sister s voice, from their respective countries


  10. Flowery Books Flowery Books says:

    Mitali Perkins s Secret Keeper is one of the deepest narratives I have ever read This tale is set in India, about a girl named Asha Gupta, her older sister, Shona, and their hard working mother As the three travel to Calcutta to stay with relatives, her father searches for a job in America In the middle of the story, terrible news returns to the family and relatives about their beloved father Perkin s includes the struggles and decisions one girl must face in order to make herself and Mitali Perkins s Secret Keeper is one of the deepest narratives I have ever read This tale is set in India, about a girl named Asha Gupta, her older sister, Shona, and their hard working mother As the three travel to Calcutta to stay with relatives, her father searches for a job in America In the middle of the story, terrible news returns to the family and relatives about their beloved father Perkin s includes the struggles and decisions one girl must face in order to make herself and her sister happy I found myself rereading this book multiple times because of its beautiful, descriptive storyline and values of individuality, loyalty and resilience I highly recommend this book and only wish it had a sequel


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