Story Rating: 4.25 stars
Audio Rating: 4.5 stars
Narrator: Jenny Urban
Length: 5 hours, 18 minutes
Srikkanth Bhattacharya is happy with his life, working as a web designer and sharing a house with two other gay men. Sri dreams of his forever man, but with a string of bad relationships behind him, Sri is content with what he has. Sri’s friend Jill had always dreamed of being a mom, but she too was lacking the requisite man and so she asked Sri to donate the sperm and be the father. Jill’s pregnancy goes normally, or so Sri thinks until he gets a call from the hospital telling him Jill passed away during childbirth.
Sri may have agreed to donate the sperm to make Jill’s dream of motherhood come true, but he never expected Jill to die, leaving him to make decisions for a baby girl. Although Sri’s first impulse is to give the infant up for adoption, the more time Sri spends with the child, the closer he grows to his daughter. With the not so subtle encouragement of friend and housemate Jamie Frias, Sri decides that the best thing for little Sophie is to keep her.
Although Jamie eagerly volunteers to help, their third housemate cannot tolerate the noise and moves out. Jamie has been attracted to Sri since day one and now has the chance to help raise a beautiful baby girl and see if he and Sri can build a relationship, a family. Their lives seem to be progressing nicely until a visit from Social Services makes Sri doubt himself and his budding relationship with Jamie. Feeling like he has to choose between his Sophie and Jamie, the man he has slowly come to love, Sri pushes Jamie away thinking it is his only option.
There were so many things about Her Two Dads that were unique to me, such as main characters who were either of Indian or Mexican descent, a rarity from my perspective but refreshing and long overdue in a genre that focuses primarily on caucasian or African American characters. The story truly revolved around Sri and Jamie and so the few secondary characters that we encountered were not as critical as they may have been in other stories. Tachna did a good job creating and developing both Sri and Jamie and their daily struggles as two dads to a newborn child.
Sri’s reaction to the visit from Social Services did seem exaggerated to me, and for a time, I was annoyed with Sri. Jamie was a rock from day one, unfailing in his dedication to Sri and Sophie, which reflected his strong desire for a family since he rarely saw his own after he came out. I can’t forget to mention Sophie either, the magnet that brought Sri and Jamie together, the rebuilder of bridges between Sri and his family, as well as Jamie and the Frias clan. Sophie is proof that a key character does not need to speak to have an impact one those around her.
The audio was a real treat, skillfully narrated by Jenny Urban. She managed the various characterizations with skill and overall consistency. There were some instances where I could not tell if it was Sri or Jamie speaking, or sometimes, the voice shifted mid-sentence. Clear intonation and diction made listening to Her Two Dads a pleasure.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.