Farangi Girl: Growing up in Iran, By Ashley Dartnell

Persian passage – more rollercoaster than magic carpet

Lesley McDowell
Sunday 12 February 2012 01:00
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Ashley Dartnell's account of growing up in Iran with her siblings, her American mother and English father is really a slightly exotic variant of Mommie Dearest, given how much of a score she has to settle with her mother.

Genie Dartnell was clearly a beautiful woman, but she was also a heartless one, frequently abandoning her children, and having affairs. Her dislike of her eldest child seems to stem from her likeness to her father, and as the family swings back and forth between Iran and the US, Dartnell grows up deeply resenting her mother's treatment, which culminates in the revelation of a lie about a previous marriage. Dartnell is candid enough but it all leaves a rather unpleasant taste in the mouth.

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