Regular price: $31.93

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

The New York Times and number-one internationally best-selling author of Secret Daughter returns with an unforgettable story of family, responsibility, love, honor, tradition, and identity, in which two childhood friends - a young doctor and a newly married bride - must balance the expectations of their culture and their families with the desires of their own hearts.

The first of his family to go to college, Anil Patel, the golden son, carries the weight of tradition and his family's expectations when he leaves his tiny Indian village to begin a medical residency in Dallas, Texas, at one of the busiest and most competitive hospitals in America. When his father dies, Anil becomes the de facto head of the Patel household and inherits the mantle of arbiter for all of the village's disputes. But he is uneasy with the custom, uncertain that he has the wisdom and courage demonstrated by his father and grandfather. His doubts are compounded by the difficulties he discovers in adjusting to a new culture and a new job - challenges that will shake his confidence in himself and his abilities.

Back home in India, Anil's closest childhood friend, Leena, struggles to adapt to her demanding new husband and relatives. Arranged by her parents, the marriage shatters Leena's romantic hopes and eventually forces her to make a desperate choice that will hold drastic repercussions for herself and her family. Though Anil and Leena struggle to come to terms with their identities thousands of miles apart, their lives eventually intersect once more - changing them both and the people they love forever.

Tender and bittersweet, The Golden Son illuminates the ambivalence of people caught between past and present, tradition and modernity, duty and choice; the push and pull of living in two cultures; and the painful decisions we must make to find our true selves.

©2016 Shilpi Somaya Gowda (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    171
  • 4 Stars
    78
  • 3 Stars
    24
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    3

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    192
  • 4 Stars
    53
  • 3 Stars
    11
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    2

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    150
  • 4 Stars
    78
  • 3 Stars
    20
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    3
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Gillian
  • Austin, TX, United States
  • 01-28-16

4-Stars, But I'm Rounding Up...

I liked this book,liked it enough to listen to it 'cover-to-cover,' hence, the 4-stars. It has great characters, Gowda threw conflict after conflict in every chapter to keep you listening, and there was a neat sorta quirkiness and humor in it that added to its humanity.
Still, there was a certain intensity that was lacking that really only turned up in Leena, and quite honestly, only turned up toward the end. The characters, though given much to strive toward (Gowda is an expert plotter), don't have much passion, neither do they have many flaws. There are a few times when things turn dour for Anil, and he berates himself as he's "f*'d up," but I had to go back and re-listen to what happened only to wonder, "Really? Where? What?" It seems that the author wanted his characters to be likable so much so that he really didn't allow them to be human.
And there's this one other glitch, and I mention it only because it was an obvious turning point, that was an unevenly written bit of racially motivated violence that comes off as a total device of convenience that leaves the reader wondering: Now? But they've been together 14 months, and it's happening now?!?
Okay, I'll shut up. Off to the good things; The characters ARE likable, I love the way their formative experiences and relationships are written as children. The descriptive settings are great. There is no disorienting sense of ping-ponging between Anil and Leena's stories, though you are breathless to get back to each of them (like I said, conflict in each and every chapter). What I really appreciated was that there were no stereotypical, "Duh, fish outta water here," events for Anil in America when such a foreign culture could've provided the author with easy ways out.
There's really not much arbitration, but where there is, is greatly, greatly amusing. And the ending? Not what I hoped for, but what I loved and respect. What more can you ask of a writer?
This is a good book that could've used some editing, with some FANTASTIC narration (started off jarring, but OMG it kicked in!), that I think is well worth it. Maybe not cover-to-cover, I coulda had a nap in there, but worth the time :)

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful except

the poor guy with the Aussie accent! It couldn't have been worse. Other than that, it was a great listen. Love the Indian accents.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • w.l.
  • earth
  • 10-17-18

A little light reading

Audible

This was a fairly lightweight fish out of water story. Anil Patel, the central character and the oldest child has been groomed since birth by his father to become the village mediator and to attend medical school in the United States. His father believes he will one day return to his village and serve both the role of mediator and the role of doctor.

Soon after he starts Med School in Dallas, his father dies. Anil leaves school without permission and heads back home where he discovers that his mother expects him to stay. Thus begins his struggle with family and tradition.

There is a co-story going on about Leena, Anil's childhood friend, who marries an abusive man and nearly dies at his hands. The two stories weave together in this book in predictable, but not totally predictable ways.

The anti-Muslim attitude that is growing at the time of Anil's residency becomes a factor in his story, along with other current issues - drugs, arranged marriages, and inter-race relations. The story is light-weight and never gets so heavy you feel like you are walking into a black hole.

A little light reading can be a good thing!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Marjorie
  • Quincy, CA, United States
  • 07-06-18

Lackluster Story with Barely Tolerable Narrator

This story needed a thorough editing. When I began listening, I was astounded by the terrible narration. He spoke slowly with oddly placed, long pauses. The storyline was juvenile with poorly developed characters. I tend to like books set in India as well as exploring acculturation to America yet I could literally sleep through sections of this one and not miss anything important. As the storyline progressed, the narration improves and the story becomes slightly more interesting but, overall, I do not recommend this book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Thank you!

Here is a well-written powerful story of love, loss, expectations for oneself and family with the powerful immigration challenges facing the Golden son who is torn between two worlds. I couldn't stop listening, excellent narration enhanced the story. One moment I'm reaching for my tissue, and the next I have to take a walk because I'm so angry. I related with the characters and am hopeful for all Indian immigrants that they can traverse both worlds gracefully and find happiness in their new home here in the USA as well as back in their motherland. I only hope that all of us begin to listen to our neighbors, get to know them with curiosity so as not to make blanket prejudices due to their accents. This story's a gift of family love, appreciation, gratitude, acceptance, and resilience. I felt I learned quite a bit about the rigor of medical school, residency, and its unforgiving competition. Thank you!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Narrator brings this wonderful novel to life

I loved this book, and I was so impressed by the full-bodied, lively narration. The characters came alive with the various skillful accents and amusing dialogue, particularly among the main character and his roommates. For some novels, it might have been too much, but it was perfect for this one.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story, excellent performance.

Would you listen to The Golden Son again? Why?

Yes. I fully enjoyed this book. The story was romantic, believable, descriptive, peppered with good humor and surprise and kept my interest until the end.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Anil. Clearly was the outstanding member of his family and community, but was a humanist who remained unaffected by his successes.

If you could rename The Golden Son, what would you call it?

I wouldn't try-I think this was a most appropriate name.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Harsh realities and much love!

At the beginning of this book, I had a tough time reading the harsh realities of life for the characters in India and the mistreatment of them in the U.S. As the characters developed more depth, I was so involved that I could not put the book down. The story is excellent and the performance was amazing!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Last chapter

Il loved this book until the final chapter. It was another one of those" tie everything up at the end conclusions". Al so had trouble with the names and who was who

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very Interesting insight into Indian culture.

This book was well written. I got the back story of the major characters. I felt like I knew them. I was captivated by the story line and wanted to get back to the book when I need to put it down. I appreciated he ending and all the twists and turns.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful