Lisa's Reviews > The Good Daughter: A Memoir of My Mother's Hidden Life

The Good Daughter by Jasmin Darznik
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Feb 13, 11

bookshelves: iran, memoir
Read from February 03 to 13, 2011

The Good Daughter has everything I love in a book. It's an intimate look into another culture, a woman's relationship with her mother, and her journey towards understanding and truth. It's an honest and beautifully told memoir of a modern American woman who is seeking to understand and appreciate her deep, deep roots. In writing The Good Daughter, Jasmin Darznik has succeeded eloquently on all accounts.

This story is so rich and layered, it's almost hard to believe that it's a memoir and not a novel. It seems like the creation of someone's dreams, only the charaters are too deep and too real to be fiction. The women in these pages are so strong, but they are vulnerable too. They feel deeply and love passionately, and endure so many things. They are heartbreakingly intelligent at a time when education for women was so hard to come by. Lili's life is so full of richness and poorness, fortune and misfortune, love, luck, and misunderstanding. How can one life hold this much diversity? It is a life that was waiting to be told, and Jasmin Darznik has done so beautifully.

This book takes the reader through the facsinating recent history of Iran, from the time before the installation of the pro-western Shah, through Ayatollah Khomeini's revolution and to the present day. Can you imagine being a woman and living a life in which you are brought up to see women veiled, then told to remove the veil and to embrace a western Iran, and then finally to be again under a veil and told to reject those things? So much dramatic change in one lifetime! I have been fascinated by this for some time, and this book has really allowed me to see that world intimately.

I would also recommend Rick Steve's Iran, a one-hour documentary on the country of Iran. I found this documentary to be very un-biased and mostly non-political. The intention was to meet the people of modern-day Iran and show their lives, clear up the many, many misunderstandings and misconceptions that Americans have when facing Iranians and their country, and to show the beauty of the country itself. As our world becomes smaller and smaller, I believe it to be our responsiblity to educate ourselves and seek to understand the people of Iran. As I do this, I am greeted by a warm and loving community that holds many of my same values near and dear to their hearts.

I enjoyed this book so much. I felt like I was in Tehran when I would read it at night, and during the day I was waiting to get back there. I loved it! I hope this author is busy at work on her next project! Her prose is beautiful and she's a natural story-teller. It's a truely beautiful story.
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Reading Progress

02/05/2011 page 110
34.0% "Beautiful prose & a moving story. I'm savoring it. Not one to rush thru!"

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Danna (new)

Danna Lisa your review is so beautifully written! You make me want to read this!


Lisa Thanks! Too bad you live so far away now, I'd lend you my copy! It was sooo good.


message 3: by Danna (new)

Danna Yea that would be good. The closer and borrowing! You have a great library!! XO


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