Sekaran makes no easy judgments. She does the hard work of a thorough fiction writer and presents flawed characters aching with humanity ... This novel takes its time, and it could probably be shorter without losing much of its impact. But Sekaran’s prose is swift and engaging, her storytelling confident enough to justify the scenic route. She takes us from rural Oaxaca to a Berkeley sorority house; from a Silicon Valley tech campus dripping with money to the shadowy nightmares of immigrant detention centers. There’s a rich secondary cast — Kavya’s relationship with her mother Uma could sustain a novel on its own. It’s easy to imagine the lives of these characters even off the page. Lucky Boy pulses with vitality, pumped with the life breath of human sin and love.
Lucky Boy is both a contemporary page-turner (in the model of Chris Bohjalian’s novels) and a model of delicate, artful writing that lets us see an entire world — contemporary Berkeley, or, rather, two different versions of it — from its characters’ eyes. And its descriptions of the emotional rush of parenthood are often strikingly lovely.
...[a] sweeping, deep and strikingly compassionate second novel ... Topical and timely, but thankfully neither pedantic nor preachy, Sekaran's book invites the reader to engage empathetically with thorny geopolitical issues that feel organic and fully inhabited by her finely rendered characters. Because of the way Sekaran examines the vagaries of economic inequality and the messiness of love in addition to the intricacies of immigration and adoption, Lucky Boy would make a promising pick for a book club. The circumstances feel well-researched, but Sekaran never lets that research get in the way of what is, at its core, a gripping story.