The Olander family embodies the modern American Dream in a globalized world. Jaya,the cultured daughter of an Indian diplomat and Keith, an ambitious banker from middle-class Philadelphia, meet in a London pub in 1988 and make a life together in suburban California. Their strong marriage is built on shared beliefs and love for their two children: headstrong teenager Karina and young son Prem, the light of their home. But love and prosperity cannot protect them from sudden, unspeakable tragedy, and the familys foundation cracks as each member struggles to seek a way forward. Jaya finds solace in spirituality. Keith wagers on his high-powered career. Karina focuses relentlessly on her future and independence. And Prem watches helplessly as his once close-knit family drifts apart. When Karina heads off to college for a fresh start, her search for identity and belonging leads her down a dark path, forcing her and her family to reckon with the past, the secrets theyve held and the weight of their choices. The Shape of Family is an intimate portrayal of four individuals as they grapple with what it means to be a family and how to move from a painful past into a hopeful future. It is a profoundly moving exploration of the ways we all seek belongingin our families, our communities and ultimately, within ourselves.
Shilpi Somaya Gowda is from Toronto, Canada. She is the author of the international bestsellers The Golden Son and Secret Daughter, which was translated into more than thirty languages and has sold more than one million copies worldwide. She holds an MBA from Stanford University, and a Bachelors in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was a Morehead-Cain scholar. She lives in California with her husband and children.