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Farangi Girl Growing Up in Iran: A Daughter's Story

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4.18  ·  Rating Details ·  141 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
Ashley Dartnell's mother was a glamorous American andher father a dashing Englishman, each trying to slough off their past and upgrade to a more romantic and exotic present in Iran. As the story starts, Ashley is eight years old and living in Tehran in the 1960s: the Shah was in power, andlife for Westerners was rich and privileged. But somehow it didn't all add up to a fa ...more
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Published June 1st 2011 by Hodder & Stoughton (first published 2011)
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Community Reviews

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Anthony Roberts
Jun 03, 2012 Anthony Roberts rated it it was amazing
A Lost Little Girl in An Ancient Civilization

After reading "Farangi Girl" I wanted to find the little child, Ashley Dartnell, and give her a big hug, buy her a square meal and get her some decent clothes. There were scenes in this memoir that brought tears to my eyes. I also lived in Iran as an expat kid during the reign of Shahanshah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi but our life experiences couldn't have been more different. Ashley's father comes to Iran with big dreams and little else. Her family life is
...more
Michael Myerscough
Feb 15, 2012 Michael Myerscough rated it it was amazing
This book was brilliant in so many ways. An insight into a totally wild upbringing in what for me would be an alien culture. Not only is it a story that keeps you hooked but it's beautifully written. If you've any interest in family dynamics this is a wild one. My wife loved it too and was lost to me for the three days it took her to consume it. Fantastic reading.
Sophia
Mar 27, 2015 Sophia rated it really liked it
A remarkable childhood. Feels like a lighter - less angst - version of Jeanette Walls' 'The Glass Castle'. I very much enjoyed the book, maybe more so because of living in the Middle East.
Charlotte Phillips
I have never been the sort of person for a true life story, well other than a child called it. So when I was offered the chance to read this book I wasn't totally sure what I was going to make of it. Would I like it, would I get on with it, or would it challenge my reading limitations. Now however, I can say that I was totally glad that I picked up the book because it didn't have that whole, this is my life and this is my book about me feeling to it. It was more like a story, a film within a ...more
Lucinda
Mar 22, 2012 Lucinda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Upon recieving this novel today i am thoroughly excited to begin reading it, as Farangi Girl looks increadible. I cannot thank the author enough for such a lovely message & inscription and i hope that once i have read & reviewed this book, that many readers will sit up and take notice!

Farangi Girl was a really heartfelt and insightful story that was very personal to the author and i thoroughly enjoyed reading it. The book is sincere, emotive and heartbreaking, that had me as a concequen
...more
Hazel
Aug 10, 2013 Hazel rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Ashley Dartnell for sending me a review copy of Farangi Girl.

I hardly know how to start this review because Farangi Girl was just so completely not what I expected – in the best way! I was sceptical at first, but a couple of pages in, I was hooked. At her own admission, Ashley’s life experiences have been wonderfully exciting, yet littered with tragedy and pain. At times, I had to remind myself this is a work of non-fiction! I enjoyed the way she tells the reader the information she
...more
Mitra Rostami
Jun 19, 2012 Mitra Rostami rated it really liked it
I am currently reading the book. How the author has described her life and feelings is pure and honest, and of course very touching. She must be very blessed as a child to have such a strong soul and character. I have enjoyed every bit of the book I have read so far and have been able to picture it in my mind clearly. As an Iranian, I have also managed to ignor the image of Iran that Ashley has experienced and has introduced to her readers in the book, which is highly affected by the state and ...more
Catherine
Mar 29, 2012 Catherine rated it it was amazing
Farangi Girl: A Memoir of My Mother, Parties with Princes and Growing Up in Iran
I was really pleased when I received this book from GoodReads, as it appeared different from other books I have read. My paperback copy published by Two Roads was of very good quality, and I could not wait to get started. I was not disappointed.
I found the book absolutely fascinating,and was completely hooked from beginning to end. The author's style is very unobtrusive and easy to read.
I enjoy family sagas, and soci
...more
Naomi
Mar 27, 2012 Naomi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Farangi Girl is a true story of the author's life. Ashley Dartnell was born & raised by her American mother & her British father in Iran. She certainly didn't have an easy life but made the best of the little she had with her two younger brothers. I thought Ashley & her siblings were treated very unfairly by both parents but more so by her mother who seemed to care more about what people thought of her & smoking herself silly constantly. What I loved about this story is that ...more
Amanda Trosten-Bloom
Jul 01, 2012 Amanda Trosten-Bloom rated it really liked it


I was riveted through the first 2/3 of the book, and then it bogged down for me. What kept me going was the descriptions of her college and the people there ... We went to the same school, at about the same time:-).

Perhaps I found it hard to understand the complexity of her relationship with her parents. (If it we're fiction, things would have been tied up so much neater... Would have made more logical and psychological sense.)

What I most appreciated throughout was the vivid imagery, the emotio
...more
Ellie
May 01, 2012 Ellie rated it it was amazing
I won this book on a goodreads competition. I can't believe I'd not heard of it before.
I'd recommended this to several friends before finishing the book, and then more once I'd finished it.
Rather than explain what the book is about (which plenty of people already have) I just want to say that this book kept me interested throughout. A beautiful story, every detail is described perfectly. I was able to put it down and the next time I picked it up, I was straight back into the world of Ashley.
If y
...more
Caz Ward
Apr 23, 2012 Caz Ward rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book through a goodreads giveaway.
Although it is a non-fiction book I found this as easy to read as a fiction book. The way it has been written means it flows and made reading it really enjoyable.
The story is detailed, covering life in Iran from the viewpoint of a child and the dynamics of what can only be described as a complicated family. The author describes The characters in a way that makes you really care what happens to them.
All in all a very enjoyable, interesting read.
Matthew Morgan
Mar 25, 2012 Matthew Morgan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-read
An incredible eye opening book. Through the eyes of a child you learn what it was like growing up, through all the rough and tumble.

It's not a book that I would usually take to reading but when i started i couldn't put it down. Determined to learn and know more...

I would recommend this to anyone who would like a break from fiction and to get lost in the life of another. It may not be a completely positive tale but since when has life not had its ups and downs?


Thank you for giving me the chance t
...more
Madeleine McDonald
Jul 17, 2014 Madeleine McDonald rated it it was amazing
Farangi. The stranger. The author paints vivid word pictures of her childhood, growing up in a foreign land with parents who seemed to have no interest in each other and little concern for their children's welfare. The author's skill is to describe Iran, America and her self-absorbed parents with a child's unflinching honesty. Yet what shines through the book is the enjoyment she and her brothers found in their nomadic existence.
Asia
Feb 24, 2013 Asia rated it really liked it
Good depiction of expat life both, the good & bad. From an autobiographical view the main character and her siblings had a terrible upbringing. Did feel like her mother had a lot to answer for, in terms of what she exposed them to. But, it also showed how loyal children can be at the way Ashley takes care of her parents when they are elderly.
Diana
Apr 30, 2012 Diana rated it it was amazing
this was a wonderful book!! i was in iran at the same time as Ashley...my story is so different, but the same!! i would recommend this book, if you have lived in iran or not, it is a book about a daughter's story, which is universal and timeless.
Linda Andrews
Mar 17, 2012 Linda Andrews rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All
Recommended to Linda by: Won it in a compettion
Shelves: non-fiction
I found this book engrossing .I have not put It down since it arrived in the post this AM.I could have not lived this sort of life.Not only that but the author came out the other side still loving her paarents i dont think I coujd have been so forgiving.
Malin
Jun 12, 2012 Malin rated it it was amazing
Farangi Girl is a beautiful account of a complex, exciting, and difficult childhood. It examines the relationship between a daughter and her parents as they struggle through poverty and the Iranian Revolution, among a number of other hardships.
Tim
Jul 10, 2012 Tim added it
I really enjoyed this book. It is a memoir, but reads like a novel. I really enjoyed the final chapter that tied all the threads together. I will not say more for risk of spoiling, but I recommend that you read this book!
Catriona
Nov 18, 2011 Catriona rated it it was amazing
A great read. At times I didn't want to put it down. A daughter's reflection at growing up in Iran and the USA of the 50s, 60s and 70s. Her relationship with her mother and father. A wonderful read.
Barbara
May 17, 2016 Barbara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A beautifully written and vividly told story of an atypical upbringing and unconventional parents. I didn't want it to end. I hope the author will be writing more.
Joanne Shaw
Jan 16, 2015 Joanne Shaw rated it it was amazing
A captivating story by an exceptional individual, about growing up in an extraordinary family in a fascinating setting. What's not to like?
Gita Assefi
Yes, I loved this book. I laughed, cried, got carried away....I loved it
Sara Grant
Oct 28, 2011 Sara Grant rated it it was amazing
A beautifully written memoir about a complex relationship between mother and daughter.
Mark Morrison
May 10, 2013 Mark Morrison rated it it was amazing
Excellent!!
Saturday's Child
Jan 21, 2014 Saturday's Child rated it really liked it
Well worth the wait to read.
Daniellec
May 14, 2012 Daniellec rated it really liked it
Good read; autobiographical
Ashley Dartnell
Jan 17, 2012 Ashley Dartnell rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
I love it, of course, I wrote it!
Amanda
Jun 21, 2013 Amanda rated it liked it
Taking me a while to get into it... up to Chapter 4.
Sandra Heath
May 29, 2016 Sandra Heath rated it it was amazing
I loved this memoir by Ashley Dartnell: "Farangi Girl, a memoir of my mother, parties with princes and growing up in Iran." I am always reading books about Iran because I lived there as a military brat in the 1970s. Somehow I googled this book and was intrigued. I ordered the hardback copy at half price and was immediately impressed with its sophisticated cover when it came in the mail. The photograph of what looked like the dashboard of a classic British car evoked a feeling of romance and ...more
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Ashley Dartnell’s mother was a glamorous American, her British father dashing and handsome. Ashley was raised in 1960s Tehran and later went to the US where she graduated from Bryn Mawr College and earned her MBA from Harvard Business School. More recently, she received an MA in Creative and LifeWriting from Goldsmiths in London where she lives with her husband and three children. Farangi Girl is ...more
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