Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran [in Library Journal]
Soli is still a teenager when she becomes pregnant during her journey from her native Mexican village to northern California. Partly joyous because she’s love-struck, mostly nightmarish for what she must endure to survive, Soli enters the United States illegally and eventually finds a job as a nanny with a Berkeley couple.
Not far from where Soli works, Kavya, the daughter of Indian immigrants, lives a very different life as one half of an educated, financially secure couple growing more frantic with each failed attempt to become parents. Both women will welcome the same child into their hearts; only one can claim motherhood for keeps.
Shanti Sekaran’s (The Prayer Room) latest uses engaging storytelling to explore hot-button topics of immigration, citizenship, entitlement, and the socioeconomic implications of modern parenthood. With assurance and sensitivity – including appropriate multilingual accents that aurally confront the shifting definitions of being American today – Roxana Ortega and Soneela Nankani volley back and forth between Soli’s and Kavya’s struggles to mother well, mother consistently, or mother at all.
Verdict: Libraries hoping to satisfy savvy readers in search of timely, illuminating, realistic fiction will do well to acquire Sekaran on multiple platforms.