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From India with Love: Growing up Australian and the journey of self-discovery that led me back to my Indian roots

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Latika Bourke was adopted from India, aged eight months. Growing up in Bathurst, New South Wales she felt a deep connection to her Australian home and her Australian family. It wasn't until she heard her name uttered in the hit movie Slumdog Millionaire that Latika recognised she knew nothing of her Indian roots, the world she was born into and what she could have become ha Latika Bourke was adopted from India, aged eight months. Growing up in Bathurst, New South Wales she felt a deep connection to her Australian home and her Australian family. It wasn't until she heard her name uttered in the hit movie Slumdog Millionaire that Latika recognised she knew nothing of her Indian roots, the world she was born into and what she could have become had she not been brought to Australia as a baby. As Latika carved out a successful career for herself as an award-winning political journalist, she became more and more curious about her heritage and what it meant to be born in India and raised in Australia. And so began a deeply personal and sometimes confronting journey back to her birthplace to unravel the mysteries of her heritage. From India with Love is a beautiful story of finding your place in the world and finding peace with the path that led you there.


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Latika Bourke was adopted from India, aged eight months. Growing up in Bathurst, New South Wales she felt a deep connection to her Australian home and her Australian family. It wasn't until she heard her name uttered in the hit movie Slumdog Millionaire that Latika recognised she knew nothing of her Indian roots, the world she was born into and what she could have become ha Latika Bourke was adopted from India, aged eight months. Growing up in Bathurst, New South Wales she felt a deep connection to her Australian home and her Australian family. It wasn't until she heard her name uttered in the hit movie Slumdog Millionaire that Latika recognised she knew nothing of her Indian roots, the world she was born into and what she could have become had she not been brought to Australia as a baby. As Latika carved out a successful career for herself as an award-winning political journalist, she became more and more curious about her heritage and what it meant to be born in India and raised in Australia. And so began a deeply personal and sometimes confronting journey back to her birthplace to unravel the mysteries of her heritage. From India with Love is a beautiful story of finding your place in the world and finding peace with the path that led you there.

30 review for From India with Love: Growing up Australian and the journey of self-discovery that led me back to my Indian roots

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    I have a very vivid memory of sitting on my trampoline with Latika in berowra many years ago and us both vowing to become journalists one day. I'm so pleased and proud that she made her dream become a reality, and even though I lost touch with her personally over the years whenever I've seen her pop up in the news or on facebook I've loved to see her progress and so happy to see her succeed in life. I can only fathom what it must feel like to have been born in a completely different country to t I have a very vivid memory of sitting on my trampoline with Latika in berowra many years ago and us both vowing to become journalists one day. I'm so pleased and proud that she made her dream become a reality, and even though I lost touch with her personally over the years whenever I've seen her pop up in the news or on facebook I've loved to see her progress and so happy to see her succeed in life. I can only fathom what it must feel like to have been born in a completely different country to the one you grew up in. Even without knowing her briefly, it would still have been a joy to read, and to learn more about India.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lauren K

    From India with Love is a remarkable memoir by Latika Bourke, a woman born in India and adopted by an Australian family as an infant. Latika’s insight into her early years and pre-adoption was quite fascinating. Her parents were keen to raise a large family but when their second biological child was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis they turned their attention to adoptions. After two failed inter-country adoption attempts they successfully adopted Rani and then Damien from India before Latika also From India with Love is a remarkable memoir by Latika Bourke, a woman born in India and adopted by an Australian family as an infant. Latika’s insight into her early years and pre-adoption was quite fascinating. Her parents were keen to raise a large family but when their second biological child was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis they turned their attention to adoptions. After two failed inter-country adoption attempts they successfully adopted Rani and then Damien from India before Latika also joined their family. Her adoptive parents went on to have another 3 biological children and so they ended up with 8 children! Latika speaks quite positively of her adoption experience; she wholeheartedly identified as a proud Australian and actively rejected any elements of her Indian roots. It was actually quite refreshing to hear about an adoption that has had positive outcomes, but it was obvious that Latika had some definite defences when it came to anything to do with India. I’ve visited (and loved) India, I adore the food and have an obsession for Indian literature and Bollywood movies and I couldn’t help but wonder why on earth Latika would reject her Indian roots! As the story of her life progresses, it’s revealed that a reluctant sitting of watching the Slumdog Millionaire movie was her wake up call. For the first time she allowed herself to think about what her life could have been like if she hadn’t been adopted. Her curiosity was sparked by this movie and she began to consider visiting the country of her birth. It was a couple more years before she made the big leap and booked a trip to northern India with her partner Graham. India had a strong impact on her; it was confronting and invigorating and it seems that the missing parts of her identity fell into place. Her experience of returning to the orphanage where she spent the first few months of her life was particularly touching. As an adult, Latika has carved a successful career in journalism and undoubtedly her newfound passion for her country of birth will evolve through her influential role in the media. From India with Love is a light-hearted, easy read with a likeable character who challenges her own defenses and steps out of her comfort zone to resolve the only aspect of her adoption she was uncomfortable with; the elements of her Indian identity. A great read.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Robi

    Quite paradoxical: it was more a diary where the author felt a need to include every tidbit that SHE thought was important - our book club of 10 didn't - yet all who finished it said they enjoyed the read. I found I didn't want to pick it up but when I did, I enjoyed it because it was quick, easy, very Australian, had a few good points and Eugene & Mel couldn't get past ~50 pgs. Those who did thought it was covered some interesting ground. Overall though, just OK. Quite paradoxical: it was more a diary where the author felt a need to include every tidbit that SHE thought was important - our book club of 10 didn't - yet all who finished it said they enjoyed the read. I found I didn't want to pick it up but when I did, I enjoyed it because it was quick, easy, very Australian, had a few good points and Eugene & Mel couldn't get past ~50 pgs. Those who did thought it was covered some interesting ground. Overall though, just OK.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin Farr

    A very average book that was more about Latika Bourke’s holiday adventure than an in-depth memoir. Easy to read but a book that will soon be forgotten. I say this without lessening the journey of self-discovery that the author travelled, but merely because of the pedestrian-style of writing and mediocre storyline (based mostly around 3 very brief trips to India where the author stayed in top-end hotels and went on top-end tours!).

  5. 5 out of 5

    Carmen

    An interesting insight about being adopted. Although I'm sure it's not the same experience for every person who is adopted. Easy to read or should I say it was almost like hearing Latika tell the story. At times I did wish it wasn't written as conversationally as it has been in the book. An interesting insight about being adopted. Although I'm sure it's not the same experience for every person who is adopted. Easy to read or should I say it was almost like hearing Latika tell the story. At times I did wish it wasn't written as conversationally as it has been in the book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lisandra Linde

    Latika Bourke grew up disinterested in her Indian heritage, even rejecting it. In this memoir, she talks about the shift from reluctant teen to curious adult, and how she eventually decided to return to India to find out more about the country where she was born. She recounts her first trip to India, and the effect it had on her. From the staggering poverty to the richness of Agra, Bourke talks about her reactions to everything around her and how it made her re-evaluate her place in the world. Th Latika Bourke grew up disinterested in her Indian heritage, even rejecting it. In this memoir, she talks about the shift from reluctant teen to curious adult, and how she eventually decided to return to India to find out more about the country where she was born. She recounts her first trip to India, and the effect it had on her. From the staggering poverty to the richness of Agra, Bourke talks about her reactions to everything around her and how it made her re-evaluate her place in the world. The main issue I had with this book was that the writing felt very surface-level. There wasn't much in the way of emotional depth. While there are touching moments in Bourke's story, they don't come across as vividly or movingly as they could. Her self-analysis also felt lacking. She refers a great deal to how the sights of extreme poverty in India make her grateful for her privilege, the life she has been given thanks to her adoption. She reiterates this with each new experience in India, but never delves any deeper or tries to interrogate her feelings of privilege guilt. A pretty decent book overall, but I found it a little lacking.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Emily Ford

    A great memoir about adoption, journalism and travel

  8. 5 out of 5

    Suzy

    This was an interesting, and easy-to-read account of the writer's experience of growing up in Australia and eventually returning to visit India as an adult. This was an interesting, and easy-to-read account of the writer's experience of growing up in Australia and eventually returning to visit India as an adult.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Winner of the Walkley Award for Young Australian Journalist of the Year in 2010, Latika Bourke is a 30-something journalist who works for Fairfax, covering national politics for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. She has also worked for ABC and 2UE in Canberra. But From India with Love is not a book about federal politics, it's a book that's on a mission to promote the value of inter-country adoption. From the horse's mouth, so to speak, because Bourke considers her own experience as an inte Winner of the Walkley Award for Young Australian Journalist of the Year in 2010, Latika Bourke is a 30-something journalist who works for Fairfax, covering national politics for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. She has also worked for ABC and 2UE in Canberra. But From India with Love is not a book about federal politics, it's a book that's on a mission to promote the value of inter-country adoption. From the horse's mouth, so to speak, because Bourke considers her own experience as an inter-country adoptee a success story. I should say at the outset that I don't have an opinion about inter-country adoption. But I know that there are very strong opinions out there, on either side of the debate, and that there is an Australia actor (whose name escapes me) who is currently on a high-profile mission to have Australia's controls relaxed. So this book, From India with Love, for all its wit and charm and confessional style, has politics at its heart. Politics (from Greek: πολιτικός politikos, definition "of, for, or relating to citizens") is the practice and theory of influencing other people. (Wikipedia) To read the rest of my review please visit http://anzlitlovers.com/2015/05/20/fr...

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ashleigh

    This was an interesting insight into adoption and allowing me to think as the author did about it. Also interesting about India.. but I felt like I didn't get enough. As much as I enjoyed this book I equally didn't like it. Every time I picked it up I didn't want to put it down yet the style of writing was not my favourite. I found a lot of information in the book not necessary and was waiting for the authors trip to India.. just as I was about to give up almost at the 100 page mark the journey This was an interesting insight into adoption and allowing me to think as the author did about it. Also interesting about India.. but I felt like I didn't get enough. As much as I enjoyed this book I equally didn't like it. Every time I picked it up I didn't want to put it down yet the style of writing was not my favourite. I found a lot of information in the book not necessary and was waiting for the authors trip to India.. just as I was about to give up almost at the 100 page mark the journey finally started. but it still didn't leave me satisfied. the book was missing something to make it great but it is still enjoyable.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sun

    Latika Bourke was adopted from India as a child and grew up in country Australia. The now political journalist doesn't have quite enough here to fill a book. As a biography I wanted more details on her family and the personalities and vivid memories. This is much more like having a long but casual conversation with a friend, telling you how they felt and thought about growing up in Australia and re-visiting India as an adult. Latika Bourke was adopted from India as a child and grew up in country Australia. The now political journalist doesn't have quite enough here to fill a book. As a biography I wanted more details on her family and the personalities and vivid memories. This is much more like having a long but casual conversation with a friend, telling you how they felt and thought about growing up in Australia and re-visiting India as an adult.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jamila

    Honestly, this book read like a teenager's diary. Also, one glaring mistake, which in my opinion, given her great new found love for the country of her birth, makes it unacceptable: she refers to 'hindi' as 'hindu'. Ugh. Honestly, this book read like a teenager's diary. Also, one glaring mistake, which in my opinion, given her great new found love for the country of her birth, makes it unacceptable: she refers to 'hindi' as 'hindu'. Ugh.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    Great story. Personable and moving. I really enjoyed Latika's journey. Great story. Personable and moving. I really enjoyed Latika's journey.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Marissa

    nice to have a peek into an experience very different to my own.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Toni

    Excellent. Moving. Should have been 100 Pages shorter.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Clare

    In terms of content, this book is much better than the three stars I've given it. The writing didn't really engage me much though, a lot of statements that didn't really inspire much emotion in me. In terms of content, this book is much better than the three stars I've given it. The writing didn't really engage me much though, a lot of statements that didn't really inspire much emotion in me.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Nisha

  18. 5 out of 5

    Malena

  19. 4 out of 5

    Marilyn

  20. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte

  21. 4 out of 5

    Amy

  22. 5 out of 5

    Orin

  23. 5 out of 5

    Madeline Lucas

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  25. 5 out of 5

    Belinda

  26. 5 out of 5

    Les

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

  28. 4 out of 5

    louise carbone

  29. 4 out of 5

    Shikha

  30. 4 out of 5

    Joanna Holman

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