Author: Fae Bidgoli

Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing

ISBN: 978-160844-517-2


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Told mainly in the form of flashbacks to her previous existence, which she recalls with the assistance of a renowned psychiatrist, Dr. W.A. Carter, The Twisted Path Home unveils the parallel lives of Arezoo, an Iranian woman living in Berkeley, California, in the 1990’s and that of Sogund, a twelve-year-old child bride living in the remote village of Golabad in Persia in the late 1800’s. The close association between the two comes about through them both having to escape the tyrannical patriarchal rule of Islamic fundamentalism in order to assert themselves as caring, loving women who both have compassionate, loving roles to play in their respective communities.


Fae Bidgoli felt driven to write this novel in an effort to bring greater awareness to the barbaric practice of child marriage, which remains a tradition in developing societies around the world. Only by pretending insanity can Sogund escape the harsh treatment inflicted on her by her much older husband. However, her fleeing to a position on the roof whenever her husband comes home ultimately leads to her release from bondage, in that it makes the religious authorities of the time take action on her behalf. By taking such a bravely defiant stance, she secures not only her own freedom, but also that of her two fellow wives, with whom she has developed close emotional bonds. The Twisted Path Home is, therefore, an affirmation of the power of female bonding, specifically in opposition to repressive religious regimes.


Not that all men in The Twisted Path Home are portrayed as negative male stereotypes – far from it, in fact, as Robert, Arezoo’s second husband, is shown to be a “wonderful, loving and caring husband”, whose job as a journalist compares favorably with that of Arezoo, who is a university professor. However, Arezoo, too, had to flee her earlier marriage to a man who repressed her every instinct to be fully self. Although the main characters in this novel attract our empathy and understanding as readers, the facilitating role played by Dr. Carter is rather one-dimensional, but perhaps that is just as well, as it is the role of the women that is of primary importance in this novel.


Bidgoli, similarly to the chief female protagonists in The Twisted Path Home, was also born in a remote Iranian village into a family that didn’t believe in education for girls, and a community that fanatically followed the Islamic religion. She, her husband and their two daughters immigrated to America, where she earned a master’s degree in economics from the University of San Francisco and built a successful real estate career. She was also the first woman in her family to get divorced, in defiance of the dictates of her traditionalist parents and conservative upbringing.


The Twisted Path Home deserves to be included in the recommended reading lists of any community college course concerned with human rights, and should make ideal reading for any person who is interested in the empowerment of women across the globe.      

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