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

The Good Daughter by Jasmin Darznik
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's review
Aug 03, 2011

really liked it
Read in August, 2011

I couldn't put this one down, but it was so disturbingly sad I don't know that I recommend it. (Spoilers ahead) The author was born in Iran and grew up in America. The story follows her grandmother, her mother and herself through their daily life and struggles. The grandmother is the ninth child and a favorite of her mother's, but that doesn't stop her from being married off to pay her brother's gambling debts. Her husband is indifferent, callous, and later takes up with another woman, but there is no recourse in Iran's society, where most women are illiterate. The mother's story is even more tragic. Married at 13 to an abusive man, she runs away with her daughter when his rages threaten to kill them both. Of course, according to law, the child, Sara, must return to her husband's family. The mother is able to amazingly make something of herself and becomes a doctor, but she is still tainted by the scandal of divorce and her daughter rejects her and misunderstands her when she tries to help by paying for boarding school later on.

The author, Jasmin, though born in Iran, grows up in tough circumstances in America with her mother and knows nothing of her mother's past. My main disappointment with the book was that once Jasmin finds out about her long-lost sister, she makes no effort to contact her or to learn about her life.

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