Saturday, 7 January 2017

Scattered Pearls by Sohila Zanjani

Subtitled 'three generations of Iranian women and their search for freedom' Scattered Pearls describes how the women in one family survived, and on varying levels overcame, violence, intimidation and control. Sohila Zanjani grew up in Iran, seeing the impact of domestic violence on both her mother and grandmother but also seeing the fierce determination of these mothers to do their best for their children.

After completing a degree, Sohila grasps a chance to avoid following in her grandmother and mother’s footsteps. She meets a man visiting relatives from Australia, where he is studying towards a post graduate degree at university. They marry and set off for a new life down under.

Unfortunately, Sohila’s husband has never been to university, seems incapable of holding down a job, and is reluctant to contribute to the care of their home and increasing family, while spending his day smoking and gambling. Meanwhile, Sohila works outside the home and tries to manage the family’s finances. Gradually she becomes a victim of increasing domestic violence.

Sohila doesn’t consider leaving for years because she assumes that she will lose her children, something that she is threatened with regularly. Eventually with the help of relatives, workmates and the Australian legal system, Sohila leaves her husband, returns to university to study law and starts her own business.

Sohila’s story is a compelling one, going beyond the personal to look at how cultural expectations can shape the behaviour of individuals, even in a new country on the other side of the world. Her determination to rise above the ill-treatment she suffers to make a new start gives the book a final message of courage and hope.

Posted by LCH

Catalogue link: Scattered Pearls 

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