We were a world of two, my mother and I, until I started turning into an American girl. That's when she started talking to me about the Good Daughter. The Good Daughter lived in Iran. She didn't talk back as I had learned to do in this broken-down, devil-riddled country. In fact, she didn't talk much at all. The Good Daughter listened. She understood-- always-- about manners and modesty. She sat by her mother's side and lowered her eyes whenever a man looked at her. And she was very, very pretty, with a sweet face and long, flowing hair just like the maidens in the Persian miniatures.The Good Daughter became a taunt. A warning. An omen.
One day when Jasmin Darznik is helping her mother pack up to move, a photograph falls from a stack of old letters. The girl in it is her mother. She is wearing a wedding veil, and at her side stands a man whom Jasmin has never seen before.
At first, Jasmin's mother, Lili, refuses to share any information. Months later, Jasmin receives the first of ten casette tapes revealing a wrenching hidden story of her family's true origins in Iran: her mother's troubled history of abuse and neglect, and a daughter she was forced to abandon in order to escape that life. The final tape reveals that her sister, Sara, is still living in Iran.
Darznik skillfully weaves the stories of three generations of Iranian women's battles with husbands and poverty into a unique tale of one family's twisted path to freedom.