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

The Good Daughter: A Memoir of My Mother's Hidden Life - Jasmin Darznik Although it is only February I would have to say this book has been my favorite read this year.

Jasmin came to California at an age too young to remember anything about her life in Iran. Raised by an Iranian mother and German father she considers herself to be an “American girl”. When her father dies she goes to help her mother sort through his belongings and happens upon a picture of her mother as a bride, but the man in the picture is not her father. When Jasmin questions her mother about this her mother refuses to speak of it, but weeks later cassette tapes begin arriving in Jasmin’s mail. Her mother has decided to record the story of her life for her and that story becomes this book.

Although it is hardly a beautiful story it is indeed a beautiful book. Beginning with the birth of Jasmin’s grandmother we are allowed to get to know life in Iran for this particular family. The difference that gender makes. The upheaval of politics. The simple pleasures that people take in aspects of their lives. Jasmin not only learns about her mother, but her grandmother and great-grandmother as well. The strength of three incredible women who want nothing more than the best for their daughters. Their ability to pick themselves up and carry on no matter what life throws in their paths is truly inspiring. This book has been described in the following words and I couldn’t put it any better … “This book combines the best of biography and literary, nonfiction by telling one of those stories that remind us that truth is more amazing than fiction, in a voice that is lively, witty, intelligent and exquisitely tuned to nuance and detail.”