Monday, 18 February 2013

Farangi Girl: A Memoir of My Mother, Parties with Princes and Growing Up in Iran. by Ashley Dartnell by Ashley Dartnell

Farangi Girl: A Memoir of My Mother, Parties with Princes and Growing Up in Iran. by Ashley Dartnell
Published May 1st 2012 by Two Roads (first published June 1st 2011)
1444714716 (ISBN13: 9781444714715)
edition language
Ashley Dartnell's mother was a glamorous American, her father a dashing Englishman, each trying to slough off their past and upgrade to a more romantic and exotic present in Iran. As the story starts, Ashley is eight years old and living in Tehran in the Sixties: the Shah was in power, life for Westerners was rich and privileged. But somehow it didn't all add up to a fairytale. There were bankruptcies and prisons, betrayals and lovers, lies and evasions. And throughout it all, Ashley's passionate and strong-willed mother, Genie. Stories of mothers and daughters are some of the most compelling in contemporary memoir, from The Liar's Club and The Glass Castle to Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight and Bad Blood. Farangi Girl deserves to be in their company. It's an honest and endlessly recognisable portrait of a mother by a daughter who loved her (and was loved in return).

Against this extraordinary background, Ashley's journey into adulthood was more helter-skelter than most and this portrait of a bewitching and endlessly inventive mother is surprising and deeply moving.
My Review
I have never been the sort of person for a true life story, well other than a child called it. So when I was offered the chance to read this book I wasn't totally sure what I was going to make of it. Would I like it, would I get on with it, or would it challenge my reading limitations. Now however, I can say that I was totally glad that I picked up the book because it didn't have that whole, this is my life and this is my book about me feeling to it. It was more like a story, a film within a story if you life, because for me every page came alive with a different meaning and moral for the reader to learn from, but to also experience. The way in which this book is written certainly keeps you within the grasp of its pages, so that you are never left downplayed or bored. you always find yourself hanging on, going just one more chapter before I put this down and go do whatever it is that I need to do.
I think for me the book made me realize just how luck I was as a kid growing up. We all wish that we were princesses, being spoilt rotten with a big fancy house a four poster bed in our bedroom. But this book represented just how hard life can be, that sometimes what we consider our limitations are others treats and dreams. Ashley clearly went through a very challenging past, but through it all you can see that she is a character of great strength and power. Even when life was trying to knock them all down she never appeared to let it phase her for long and she always seemed to be aware of what was happening around her. I think the way that she displays her mother truly allows us to get a real eyesight for what it was that she had to live with. It made me laugh, cry and feel anger at the best of times. I think there may have even be times where I was screaming at the book in the hopes that her mother would listen.
In the end though, I found myself feeling a gentle hum of peace for her mum and for ashley herself. I felt a sense of great respect for them both because you could tell that though they were different in many different ways, they were also quite close and similar to one another. The connection they had was beautiful and it really made me feel warmth within my soul. I loved the way that Ashley made the pages come alive within my mind though. I felt I was in iran with her, that I could feel her frustration with the lack of education that she was getting, or the desire to be someone to someone else, or to be something. Every page just seemed to have the joy and passion within it that all books should have, and that was beautiful.
In many ways I found myself inspired, because it represented that you can come from a small place but still make something of yourself. It showed me that family dynamics are confusing and that sometimes we are going to hate those that are connected to us by blood. In the end though, through everything that they had been through, they were there for one another. I just felt that the whole novel was captivating and I truly loved the direction it flowed in. it was amazingly well written with so much depth and life to the pages that it was worth the read.
rating 5 of 5 stars false

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...