2015 Reading Challenge, Book 42: Trail Of Broken Wings by Sejal Badani

So this book is about Sonya, an Indian American photographer who reluctantly returns to her family after years of estrangement when she finds out her father is in a coma and on the verge of death. This is a family of many secrets, most of them revolving around the physical and mental abuse suffered at the hands of said comatose father.

This is (mostly) a very interesting, absorbing book. The characters are brilliantly drawn, their stories are gripping and the family dynamic beautifully described. I really enjoyed the intelligent spotlight on the problems encountered by Indian emigrees to the US. Sadly this book sort of falls apart at the final hurdle.

Once the characters have finally shared their secrets etc etc (not to be too spoilery) everything sort of comes together in a very sickly sweet Disneyfied soft focus series of happy endings. This was incredibly jarring given the momentum of the book and the depth of the pain expressed by the characters therein. It threw me out completely and left me disappointed.

I wanted a happy ending, sure, but I wanted the realistic nature of the book to continue. I felt that up until the end, the devastation and trauma in the lives of these characters had been deftly handled and was very true to life. The ending takes a completely different tone and does not fit. It’s like a Lifetime movie: all your happy endings guaranteed! No.

I would recommend it to read, as until this deeply unrealistic and off tone ending the book was actually a tremendous (if difficult, thanks to the subject matter) read.

You can buy this book in the UK here

And in the US here


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