Life is Too Short for Terrible Books (On Reading “The Golden Son” by Shilpa Somaya Gowda

"The Golden Son" is a heavy-handed novel ( Scienceworld, Vancouver BC)

(Scienceworld, Vancouver BC)

I don’t like leaving books unfinished. Even when a novel isn’t going anywhere, I inch along in the hopes that at some point the novel will turn around, the plot will make sense, the characters will come alive, and the book will mean something to me after I’ve finished the read. And so, despite the effect reading this book has had on my personal wellbeing and sanity, I finished the April Seriously Planning bookclub selection, Shilpa Somaya Gowda’s book “The Golden Son” today. It took weeks to get to 20% of the novel  because it was too painful to read more than a few pages at a time, but over the past couple of days I read during every spare moment and in the evenings in order to complete the read. Today I finished the book, and I never want to see or talk about this book again. It’s been a while since I’ve disliked a book so strongly.

Gowda’s first book, “Secret Daughter” is one of my favourite novels and I loved the complex characters and rich plot when I first read the book. It’s a book I’ve recommended to many many people, and so when I discovered that Gowda’s second novel “The Golden Son” was published in 2015 I suggested it for the Seriously Planning bookclub. Whatever the plot of the novel, I was sure we would enjoy our reading session because it was a Gowda novel, and I thought that meant the novel would be good.

I was wrong. The Golden Son is flat, painful, and altogether an uninteresting read.

Continue reading