Tuesday, March 1, 2011

TheTwisted Path Home - Fae Bidogli

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by Phenix and Phenix publishers for the purpose of a review. The views expressed here are honest and are in no way influenced by the author or the publishers.


It is 1991. Arezoo, an Iranian woman is living in Berkeley, California with her second husband, Robert, and working as a university professor. Recurring, terrifying dreams of eminent death lead her into therapy with a widely respected psychotherapist. As her memories unfold during therapy sessions, she flashes back to painful memories of her first marriage to Afshin, an Iranian man.

Still, the dreams continue, prompting Arezoo to try hypnosis. Arezoo's life takes an unexpected turn under hypnosis and she begins to channel the dramatic life story of Sogand, a woman who lived in a village in Persia (now Iran) in the late 1800's.

This seemingly inexplicable experience, and her sudden, intimate knowledge of Sogand's identity leads Arezoo back to Iran after many years in America. Through this woman's history Arezoo makes some life changing discoveries - key to both her past and her ex-husband's tortured, secret life.

Fae Bidgoli, author of The Cracked Pomegranate, once again displays her intimate understanding of the power of redemption. In The Twisted Path Home, Fae shows how by releasing judgment and fear, and releasing generational, cultural, and self-abuse, we find our purpose in life and become joy.

Fae's beliefs reflect her opposition to the inequality between men and women that she saw in her native Iran. She left Iran in 1978 as a young adult, hoping to find in the United States the freedoms she longed for throughout childhood and adolescence. In Iran, writing was an outlet for those longings. In the United States, she is free to follow her dreams and to write her stories.

My Review

The Twisted Path Home is a story told through the perspectives of two women, both coming from different periods in history.  The journey takes the reader through Sogand’s story; a child pride who hails from Persia in the late 1800’s and then flashes back to Azeroo an Iranian born woman of the twentieth century. Both stories are similar in that they experience the hardships of being women whose cultural role is based on subservience and abuse.  By the time the reader gets to the end of the story, the story unravels into one of empowerment, resilience and finding one’s true purpose in life.

While the story is fascinating and the subject matter is quite relevant, it is hardly memorable for the reader and this had a lot to do with a lack of connection to the story or the characters. We all could sympathize with a woman who is in an abusive marriage and whose culture suggests that this form of relationship is OK however the way in which Azeroo’s first marriage was brought across in print did not make the reader express sympathy for her at all. This is in addition to fickle characters whose development was substituted for the purpose of bringing across a message to the reader. Yet the story has a strong message that most readers would appreciate; that is, to break the mold that society often cast us in and live your best life. The Twisted Path Home is high on moral appeal but low on affinity.

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