Book Review

A House for Happy Mothers #BookReview

Top post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

I read the blurb of A House for Happy Mothers and thought ‘Wow! This is going to be one hell of a story!’. I haven’t read a book before that talked about surrogacy and hence I was so looking forward to reading this book. But was I impressed? Read to know.

A House for Happy Mothers BookReview

The Plot:

A House for Happy Mothers is about two women – Priyasha and Asha.

Priyasha is an Indian-American woman married to a Telugu man Madhu. She has a perfect life – a great career, a doting husband, and an amazing home. She is unfortunate to bear a child, having suffered several miscarriages. Priya wants a baby so badly and can’t imagine a life without a child. Madhu is fine with or without but supports his wife in all her decisions. The IVFs are a failure and they also don’t want to adopt. Priya convinces Madhu to opt for surrogacy – an option where underprivileged women in India act as surrogates.

Asha, a poor woman in India is the surrogate. She is the wife of a painter and a mother of two kids. Her son is an intelligent kid and Asha and her husband wants to send him to a better school. Only that they on their present wages could hardly make ends meet, let alone enjoy any luxuries. They hear about being a surrogate, through Asha’s sister-in-law, and about how the money they received in exchange had changed their lives. Asha’s husband encourages her to be one so as to buy a flat, for their child’s education and to live a better life. Thus, Asha decides to sell her womb for money, by carrying someone else’s child.

A House for Happy Mothers is where the lives of two women- Priya and Asha come together. It’s about how their emotions collide, and how even though both of them have apprehensions about surrogacy they still do it. 

Review: A House for Happy Mothers

The Whoa and Ouch Moments!

The book stood pretty on a bookshelf at one of the book fairs I recently visited. Yup, the cover was so pretty that I immediately grabbed it. The title somehow gave that sense of hope, of sunshine. I know I sound lame, but that was how it was. I then read the blurb only to find it intriguing and interesting.

As I read through, I had an instant liking for Priya and Madhu; the bond they shared. It was raw, uncensored and totally relatable. But that was it. After this initial connection, I was lost.

Priya and Madhu hire Asha through an organization called ‘Happy Mothers’. Since she desperately needed money to find a good school for her intelligent and gifted son, she decides to be a surrogate. The helplessness, desperation, and poverty are understandable.

But I thought I would get a bit more from Asha. She didn’t have a voice in any of the matters. Her opinions, desires, and decisions never mattered to anyone. She was encouraged, rather coerced into this by her husband; she couldn’t talk about her feelings for the child in her womb and was blackmailed into being on a television show by the doctor in exchange for a recommendation to a school for her son. Something is finicky with the doctor, don’t you think?

Yes, you get subtle hints from the book that ‘Happy Mothers’ is indeed, a babymaking farm. However, there could have been, in detail, a probe into the surrogacy market that is/was thriving in India.

I do not have extensive knowledge of the same and I’m writing this on the basis of how it is portrayed in the book. I can give the benefit of the doubt, that the author wanted to primarily focus on the lives of the women. But then again, I was left wanting for more- the emotional struggle of both sets of parents and the journey of Asha who was bearing a child which was not her own. Is it ok for a rich woman to pay a poor woman to carry her child? Is it exploitation or is it helping that woman have a better life? Is it a win-win situation?

I also had a nagging thought in my head – what about Asha’s daughter? Her education? I agree, that she wasn’t extraordinarily brilliant like her brother. But wasn’t her schooling important too?

A poignant tale, the author was brilliant with her narrative and writing style. It was engaging and eloquent. I also loved the names of the characters- Priyasha and Asha meaning a dear wish- one’s fulfilling the other.

Do I Recommend?

This isn’t necessarily horrible, but it’s not as good as I hoped for. It lacked depth.


3.5 on 5

Grab the book from Amazon if you’re up for it.

Details of the Book
Title: A House for Happy Mothers Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Author: Amulya Malladi ISBN: 9781503933316
Genre: Fiction No: of Pages: 314

View all my reviews here

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are honest, unbiased, and my own. No, I didn’t receive any monetary compensation for the review.
*This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you buy on the site through this link, I will get a referral fee at no additional cost to you. If you do use the link – thank you for your support


  1. Mayuri Nidigallu July 7, 2018
  2. SHALINI BAISIWALA February 3, 2018
  3. Vidya Sury January 25, 2018
  4. Shilpa Gupte January 25, 2018
  5. Modern Gypsy January 25, 2018
  6. Ramya Abhinand January 25, 2018
  7. Reema D'souza January 24, 2018
  8. Shilpa Garg January 24, 2018
  9. My Era January 24, 2018

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge


%d bloggers like this: