The Storyteller's Secret

by Sejal Badani

Review Type

The Gist


  1. It is important to balance one’s social duties with one’s own personal desires.

  2. The author’s grandmother made a mistake by committing Zina with one of the officers. Her husband tolerated her, but her life was forever changed.

  3. Miscarriages can break marriages but it’s critical to remember all the positives that come from loss.


How I Discovered It

I got a book recommendation from Kindle on what to read and this book popped up.

Who Should Read It?

People looking for a light read that can pass the time. The plot is simple enough for teenagers to read and enjoy. I’d also recommend this book to young professionals, as it features a working-class couple whose struggles professional-class folks can relate to.

How the Book Changed Me


My Top 3 Quotes


Optimism is a belief that the odds of a good outcome are in your favor over time, even when there will be setbacks along the way.

If there’s a part of our household financial plan I’m proud of it’s that we got the goalpost of lifestyle desires to stop moving at a young age.

Go out of your way to find humility when things are going right and forgiveness/compassion when they go wrong.



The book follows the story of a grandmother and her granddaughter in parallel as they navigate two different societies. The granddaughter, Jaya, is married to her true love, Patrick. They love each other dearly, yet a defining struggle in their marriage is infertility. They turn to each other during moments of loss, and Jaya recounts memories of holding each other while the grieve their unborn children. Jaya recalls her relationship with both her husband and her mother, and the reasons why her mother seems distant.

On the other hand, Amisha, Jaya’s grandmother, follows most traditional Indian customs. She marries a renowned businessman and bears him three healthy children. Though she is content with her choice of husband and his family , one day she goes to the nearby school and is inspired to teach. Her husband allows her to leave the house and follow her dreams. In leaving, she meets Stephen, the officer in charge of the school. Through trysts and walks Amisha and Stephen grow closer to each other, their relationship climaxing in an affair that leads to a bastard child: Jaya’s grandmother. This is the secret Jaya’s mother and Ravi, Amisha’s trusted servant, have kept hidden for years.

In the end, Jaya and Patrick decide to adopt a child from Amisha’s village and they resolve their broken relationship through kindness and understanding. In reading this novel, I’ve learned a lot about the struggles of infertility. Moments of grief brought Jaya and Patrick closer together, yet each loss chipped away at their bond. In the end they reconcile their loss with understanding, and turn to the hope of adoption for the future. I learned that it’s important to preserve the bond of marriage and whether the storms that come our way through work and looking for solutions. The adoption solution is a wise way to preserve a marriage and still attain the couple’s goal of raising a child.

Historical Fiction Romance