The Good Daughter

The Good Daughter

A Memoir of My Mother's Hidden Life

Book - 2011
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We were a world of two, my mother and I, until I started turning into an American girl. That's when she began telling me about The Good Daughter. It became a taunt, a warning, an omen.

Jasmin Darznik came to America from Iran when she was only three years old, and she grew up knowing very little about her family's history. When she was in her early twenties, on a day shortly following her father's death, Jasmin was helping her mother move; a photograph fell from a stack of old letters. The girl pictured was her mother. She was wearing a wedding veil, and at her side stood a man whom Jasmin had never seen before.

At first, Jasmin's mother, Lili, refused to speak about the photograph, and Jasmin returned to her own home frustrated and confused. But a few months later, she received from her mother the first of ten cassette tapes that would bring to light the wrenching hidden story of her family's true origins in Iran: Lili's marriage at thirteen, her troubled history of abuse and neglect, and a daughter she was forced to abandon in order to escape that life. The final tape revealed that Jasmin's sister, Sara - The Good Daughter - was still living in Iran.

In this sweeping, poignant, and beautifully written memoir, Jasmin weaves the stories of three generations of Iranian women into a unique tale of one family's struggle for freedom and understanding. The result is an enchanting and unforgettable story of secrets, betrayal, and the unbreakable mother-daughter bond.
Publisher: New York : Grand Central Pub., 2011
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780446534970
Branch Call Number: 305.4889 DAR 2011 B 22
Characteristics: viii, 324 p

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writermala
Sep 24, 2016

Jasmin Darznik has written a powerful memoir with great sensitivity.
She has captured the essence of what it meant to be a woman in Iran over three generations. Even the youngest, Sara, seemed to show in her picture that even though she was young , "Barely fourteen years old..she knew everything she would need to know: how to swallow a cry before it came."
For someone brought up in America Darznik has done a remarkable job in her memoir of her mother.

ChristchurchLib Apr 18, 2016

Iranian-American English Professor Jasmin Darznik knew nothing about her mother Lili's first, arranged, marriage at age 13 in Iran. Jasmin also didn't know that her mother had given birth at age 14 to a sister Jasmin had never met, nor that her mother was divorced before age 20. She discovered all of this after seeing a photograph from that first wedding and questioning her mother about it; Lili eventually sent several cassette tapes telling her story, providing the basis for Darznik's richly detailed, absorbing account of three generations of Iranian women.

BPLNextBestAdults Feb 23, 2012

Jasmin, who came from Iran to the U.S. when she was 3 years old, attends her father’s funeral and while at the house helping her mother move she finds a photo of her mother marrying another man. She questions her about this but mother Lili cannot bring herself to tell her about her former life and instead sends Jasmin ten cassettes that would reveal the hidden story of her family’s true origins in Iran: Lili’s marriage at 13, her troubled history of abuse and neglect and a daughter she was forced to abandon in order to escape that life. The final tape revealed that Jasmin’s sister, Sara “The Good Daughter” was still living in Iran. This is a story of three generations of Iranian women and their struggle for freedom and understanding.

l
ll_mademoiselle
Apr 28, 2011

This was a fantastic and FAST read. I found myself trying to slow down...to absorb all the details. I find it fascinating to hear about 3 different generations of women struggle with their culture, their family and their wants against the back drop a changing Iran. I was most taken by Jazmin Draznik's mom's story, and how savy she was at maneuvering towards her goals within the confines of her social circumstance. Definitely recommend!!

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