THE GOOD DAUGHTER

A Memoir of My Mother’s Hidden Life

ABOUT THE BOOK

 

“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 as a young child, 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.

“An eye-opening account that disturbs with its depiction of the place of women in Iranian society, but warms the heart in its portrayal of their gritty endurance.”

Kirkus Reviews