Seven-year-old Chellamuthu’s life is forever changed when he is kidnapped from his village in India, sold to a Christian orphanage, and then adopted by an unsuspecting couple in the United States. It takes months before the boy can speak enough English to tell his parents that he already has a family back in India. Horrified, they try their best to track down his Indian family, but all avenues lead to dead ends.
Meanwhile, they simply love him, change his name to Taj, enroll him in school, make him part of their family—and his story might have ended there had it not been for the pestering questions in his head: Who am I? Why was I taken? How do I get home?
More than a decade later, Taj meets Priya, a girl from southern India with surprising ties to his past. Is she the key to unveil the secrets of his childhood or is it too late? And if he does make it back to India, how will he find his family with so few clues?
From the best-selling author of The Rent Collector, this is a deeply moving and gripping journey of discovering one’s self and the unbreakable family bonds that connect us forever. @goodreads
Well, I cried. Can't I read a book without crying! It was a good cry at the end though.
Chellamuthu (Taj Khyber Rowland) was kidnapped as a child in India, taken to the Lincoln Home for Homeless Children and sold to people in America.
The story starts out telling of Chellamuthu's life in India. The life he led with his family, the daily things he did, stealing and what not. He had a brother and a very kind mother, a father that was a drinker. He had friends. But one day when he was out with his father, he was taken. He ended up in the orphanage and we get to hear this story while he was there. He did escape once but came back with medicine for a sick child and I thought that was so brave of him. He made friends with other children in the orphanage and was so very sad to leave everyone and knowing he had a family out there.
Chellamuthu was adopted/purchased by a loving family that had no idea the wasn't really an orphan until he was a little older. He had to learn to speak English and everything really. Linda and Fred Rowland were wonderful parents and did everything they could for all of their children. In the author's note at the end, he tells some things that had to get edited out of the book and it was interesting to learn those things as well.
Chellamuthu's name was changed to Taj Khyber Rowland. He did really good in school and things with his mom's help. He was in wrestling and when he told his mom that he wanted to send the picture to his family in India, they realized he wasn't an orphan. It's really sad.
When Taj gets older he meets a guy named Daniel who has a sister who would be Taj's future wife. Her name is Priya and it gave me chills because her father had some things to do with Taj's life at the orphanage. They eventually made their way back to India. They were married and made a home there.
Taj did get his happy ending. He found his parents and brother again. This is where I cried because, come on!
Eventually, Linda and Fred came to India to meet Taj's real mom and it was so bittersweet. Her name is Arayi by the way.
I really liked this book more than I thought I would. It's a great story learning about what children are going through to this day. I think the author, Camron Wright did a great job in telling Taj's story.
You can read more about the story at: www.TheOrphanKeeper.com
*I would like to thank Smith Publicity for a print copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.*
AMAZON LINK TO THE BOOK: