REVIEW: Farangi Girl, Ashley Dartnell

This story I have literally had for YEARS. I read a review of Farangi Girl in a magazine back when it was published in 2011 and somehow ended up with two copies of this book and yet went six years before reading it…how is that even possible? But finally just before Christmas, I read Farangi Girl. This is the memoir of a woman raised in Iran by her British architect father and American mother. I have been trying to read more travel writing and it seems ridiculous that after a year of trying to read more travel writing, it took until December to read this book!

Anyway, I really enjoyed reading Farangi Girl, but it wasn’t the book I had expected. Moving between Iran and America, this is a book that is eye opening and heart breaking. It gives huge insight into the complicated history of Iran and the often terrible influence of Britain and the United States on a country that was once peaceful and full of opportunity. For Ashley Dartnell this is the backdrop of a childhood that was once the same but slowly becomes undone when her parents disagree as to whether they should stay in Iran and the nature of the life they will have there.

This book is often very difficult to read. There are moments where children are being abused, parents are acting horribly towards their children and social inequality is obvious and yet no one does anything about it. There were moments when reading this book that I wanted to put it down. And yet, the description is beautiful, it offers insight into a place that I will probably never visit and it also offers a view on an area of history that I have never studied or read about before. I really enjoyed reading this book as I felt that I learned a lot, but was also really interested in the characters within the book.

It is not what I had expected when I bought this book six years ago, but it is a fantastic book that I would highly recommend for anyone interested in history, politics, travel or simply in someones childhood experience that was probably completely different to your own.

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