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Trail of Broken Wings

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When her father falls into a coma, Indian American photographer Sonya reluctantly returns to the family she’d fled years before. Since she left home, Sonya has lived on the run, free of any ties, while her soft-spoken sister, Trisha, has created a perfect suburban life, and her ambitious sister, Marin, has built her own successful career. But as these women come together, When her father falls into a coma, Indian American photographer Sonya reluctantly returns to the family she’d fled years before. Since she left home, Sonya has lived on the run, free of any ties, while her soft-spoken sister, Trisha, has created a perfect suburban life, and her ambitious sister, Marin, has built her own successful career. But as these women come together, their various methods of coping with a terrifying history can no longer hold their memories at bay. Buried secrets rise to the surface as their father—the victim of humiliating racism and perpetrator of horrible violence—remains unconscious. As his condition worsens, the daughters and their mother wrestle with private hopes for his survival or death, as well as their own demons and buried secrets. Told with forceful honesty, Trail of Broken Wings reveals the burden of shame and secrets, the toxicity of cruelty and aggression, and the exquisite, liberating power of speaking and owning truth.


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When her father falls into a coma, Indian American photographer Sonya reluctantly returns to the family she’d fled years before. Since she left home, Sonya has lived on the run, free of any ties, while her soft-spoken sister, Trisha, has created a perfect suburban life, and her ambitious sister, Marin, has built her own successful career. But as these women come together, When her father falls into a coma, Indian American photographer Sonya reluctantly returns to the family she’d fled years before. Since she left home, Sonya has lived on the run, free of any ties, while her soft-spoken sister, Trisha, has created a perfect suburban life, and her ambitious sister, Marin, has built her own successful career. But as these women come together, their various methods of coping with a terrifying history can no longer hold their memories at bay. Buried secrets rise to the surface as their father—the victim of humiliating racism and perpetrator of horrible violence—remains unconscious. As his condition worsens, the daughters and their mother wrestle with private hopes for his survival or death, as well as their own demons and buried secrets. Told with forceful honesty, Trail of Broken Wings reveals the burden of shame and secrets, the toxicity of cruelty and aggression, and the exquisite, liberating power of speaking and owning truth.

30 review for Trail of Broken Wings

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    If I could have given this book 2.5 stars, I would have. As their father lies in a coma, three Indian American sisters reunite with their mother at the bedside of the ailing patriarch. We learn the back story of this broken family, and the women they have become as a result. The book wallows in melodrama -- to the point of unbelievability. The characters are uni-dimensional, and some of their actions just simply didn't make sense. I nearly gave up mid-way, but a few minor plot twists/character rev If I could have given this book 2.5 stars, I would have. As their father lies in a coma, three Indian American sisters reunite with their mother at the bedside of the ailing patriarch. We learn the back story of this broken family, and the women they have become as a result. The book wallows in melodrama -- to the point of unbelievability. The characters are uni-dimensional, and some of their actions just simply didn't make sense. I nearly gave up mid-way, but a few minor plot twists/character revelations were the reward for sticking is through to the end.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Zoeytron

    As a man lies in a coma from which he is not expected to recover, his wife and three grown daughters come together. Each woman carries a secret, a 'truth left unspoken'. Bruised souls, all of them. Is the father to blame? A sad story of the fragility of family ties unraveling even further. The author displays a fine hand with beautiful prose that is heartbreaking. Her characters are fully baked, each one struggling to make sense of her life and the impact that the impending loss of this man will As a man lies in a coma from which he is not expected to recover, his wife and three grown daughters come together. Each woman carries a secret, a 'truth left unspoken'. Bruised souls, all of them. Is the father to blame? A sad story of the fragility of family ties unraveling even further. The author displays a fine hand with beautiful prose that is heartbreaking. Her characters are fully baked, each one struggling to make sense of her life and the impact that the impending loss of this man will make on her future. Sometimes weakness is power. Is an individual with an absolute need to control proof that he or she is weak on the inside? Mulling material. This was a Kindle First selection for the month of April.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    3.5 stars, rounded up This story involves an Indian American family dealing with life after the father falls into a coma. Marin, Trisha and Sonya are the three adult daughters. We hear from each one of them individually. Each has forged a completely different life. But they, along with their mother, dealt with life under a domineering father. It doesn’t take the reader long to realize theirs was not a happy household. And that each woman is still hurting and unable to even comfort each other. I f 3.5 stars, rounded up This story involves an Indian American family dealing with life after the father falls into a coma. Marin, Trisha and Sonya are the three adult daughters. We hear from each one of them individually. Each has forged a completely different life. But they, along with their mother, dealt with life under a domineering father. It doesn’t take the reader long to realize theirs was not a happy household. And that each woman is still hurting and unable to even comfort each other. I felt sympathy for each of them, but I can’t say I liked any of them. But the characters are fully formed and each felt real to me. This was an interesting story to see how each was shaped by their father's actions. I found it disturbing that not a single one of them ever sought counseling to help them get over their past. It’s such a shame that so many people prefer to struggle by themselves and hide these secrets from even those closest to them. The book tackles a difficult subject and does it with insight and empathy. But in addition to the abuse theme, I found the issue of a parent’s right to impose their will on a teenager equally important. I found the ending way too pat for my liking. I read this for my book club and believe it should lead to a great discussion.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Roberta Emerson

    Like watching an airplane come apart mid-flight...for hours on end. Perhaps the cultural differences were responsible for more of the characters' individual responses to childhood abuse, but after 30% of the book, I wanted to take every one of them by the shoulders and shake them awake! Like an embarrassed voyeur, I watched the slowly dismantling lives throw a bolt here, a bit of cloth there. Predictably, I couldn't stop watching. And then it was over. A whole, functional airplane landed, with n Like watching an airplane come apart mid-flight...for hours on end. Perhaps the cultural differences were responsible for more of the characters' individual responses to childhood abuse, but after 30% of the book, I wanted to take every one of them by the shoulders and shake them awake! Like an embarrassed voyeur, I watched the slowly dismantling lives throw a bolt here, a bit of cloth there. Predictably, I couldn't stop watching. And then it was over. A whole, functional airplane landed, with nothing more than a couple of dings. I simply couldn't buy it. Everyone had to come out moving down the road of wellness? Really?

  5. 5 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    3.5 A man lies in a hospital bed, he is in a coma and his physician doesn't know why or even if he will come out of it. He is a husband and a father of three daughters. Only one daughter, his favorite, and his young granddaughter wants him to live. His wife and two of his daughters were treated to physical and mental abuse, abuse that effected the way they viewed themselves, their relationships and the women they became. This is a novel that shows how abuse of these kinds last far into the future 3.5 A man lies in a hospital bed, he is in a coma and his physician doesn't know why or even if he will come out of it. He is a husband and a father of three daughters. Only one daughter, his favorite, and his young granddaughter wants him to live. His wife and two of his daughters were treated to physical and mental abuse, abuse that effected the way they viewed themselves, their relationships and the women they became. This is a novel that shows how abuse of these kinds last far into the future, even after they are not in the same house as the abuser. Except of course for his wife, a woman with little choice but to put up with him. The writing flows well and is narrated in turn by the daughters and their mother. It is sad a horrific, though the descriptions are not terrible graphic. It is interesting to see how they each developed different after the abuse, but none had truthful relationships with their spouses, afraid they would think less of them of their previous lives were revealed. One daughter, the youngest try to run away from her memories, ran from any personal commitments that might happen. Until the coma, when the whole family is once again reunited. I felt that at the ending of the story the author went a bit overboard in her descriptions of their reconciliation with the past. But this was a good story and a tough subject, so I applaud her for tackling it. ARC from Netgalley.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ceecee

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Absolutely brilliant. This isn't the type of novel I would usually go for but I'm so glad I did. It is beautifully written and though it is a very difficult subject matter it is written very sympathetically. This story of a wife's and daughters abuse at the hands of their husband/ father is written through each of their eyes. They each suffer and cope in different ways. One - Sonya by running away, Marin by constantly striving for perfection, Trisha by burying the most hideous of memories and Ra Absolutely brilliant. This isn't the type of novel I would usually go for but I'm so glad I did. It is beautifully written and though it is a very difficult subject matter it is written very sympathetically. This story of a wife's and daughters abuse at the hands of their husband/ father is written through each of their eyes. They each suffer and cope in different ways. One - Sonya by running away, Marin by constantly striving for perfection, Trisha by burying the most hideous of memories and Ranee by sacrificing her youngest daughter. The story tells of how their mental struggle with their abuse comes to a head and ultimately they are able to face their past allowing them all to have a future - to heal their broken wings. It's a gripping story, difficult to read at times but the end fills you with hope. A fantastic book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Larry H

    "We had learned to appreciate our lies like a veil over our lives, each untruth stronger than the facts." When their father falls into a coma, three sisters are forced to confront the secrets of their childhood that they've tried to keep hidden. Growing up in an Indian-American family, they were always taught to value appearances above everything else, and they succeeded, as from the outside looking in, they were a model family. But that couldn't have been further from the truth. Sonya, the baby o "We had learned to appreciate our lies like a veil over our lives, each untruth stronger than the facts." When their father falls into a coma, three sisters are forced to confront the secrets of their childhood that they've tried to keep hidden. Growing up in an Indian-American family, they were always taught to value appearances above everything else, and they succeeded, as from the outside looking in, they were a model family. But that couldn't have been further from the truth. Sonya, the baby of the family, was the brunt of most of her father's anger and violence. She fled home as quickly as she could, and used her photography career to keep her at a distance from life, refusing to allow herself to connect with anyone, afraid her secret shame will be revealed. Trisha was her father's favorite, and while she was able to stay safe while growing up, watching her mother and sisters be victimized certainly took its toll on her. She's created the perfect suburban life, but there's still a wall she can't seem to take down, and she doesn't understand why. The oldest daughter, Marin, remembers what life was like in India, before her family moved to America. Her father's abuse has shaped her into a ruthless businesswoman, stopping at nothing to get what she wants, and she doesn't quite understand what happens to those who get caught in the crossfire, even if they are people she cares about. Trail of Broken Wings is a powerfully moving book about the dangerous and destructive cycle of violence and abuse that affects far too many families, as well as the secrets we keep and the lies we tell, ostensibly to protect those we love. But we don't quite understand just how those secrets can affect our adult lives, and the lives of those around us. Sejal Badani is a very talented writer, and her use of language borders on the lyrical and poetic at times. The challenge with this book, however, is that in painting an accurate picture of the long-term effects of abuse, her characters are at times both sympathetic and unlikeable, and some of the situations seem a bit melodramatic. And even though you probably have an idea of how Badani will tie up the story, it's still very compelling. Domestic and child abuse is a serious subject that is still too often swept under the rug. Even if books like Trail of Broken Wings may cause some discomfort, these are stories that need to be told. See all of my reviews at http://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blo....

  8. 5 out of 5

    Melinda

    I found myself lost in this book for a number of reasons, you will as well with all certainty. A convoluted story of harbored dark secrets tucked away forever plaguing a family and each individual member. Healing is examined in an intricate and involved manner accompanied with high emotions and stress. Unearthing buried secrets takes its toll as we discover in this broken family. The ravages of abuse, its aftermath expertly depicted. “What he did to you can never be undone. But don’t let it col I found myself lost in this book for a number of reasons, you will as well with all certainty. A convoluted story of harbored dark secrets tucked away forever plaguing a family and each individual member. Healing is examined in an intricate and involved manner accompanied with high emotions and stress. Unearthing buried secrets takes its toll as we discover in this broken family. The ravages of abuse, its aftermath expertly depicted. “What he did to you can never be undone. But don’t let it color your life. Don’t let his actions or his way of living become your truth.” A disturbing story, incandescent, engrossing. A combination of strong characterization, a well crafted narrative complete with a somewhat jaw dropper ending causing an audible gasp makes for an enthralling painful read. As a survivor of abuse I was greatly affected by this story as well as its cast. "Everyone must reach a point in their life when they stop running. When it is easier to stand still than to keep being chased, even if the person chasing you is only in your head." Trust, heavy questions, vague answers, strength, forgiveness, healing, will leave you lost in thought. A stirring memorable read. "I wait for the pity, the disgust, all the things that come with someone knowing you are damaged. The acceptance that the scars that cover your body and soul have shriveled you to nothing but a fragment of what you once were."

  9. 4 out of 5

    Trudy

    5 stars for me! There is no way I could have given this book less than five stars. Sejal Badani has a gift for written expression. Much of her narrative shook me to my core. It was poignant, haunting and beautiful and I found myself highlighting much of the book.She presented her characters in totality, giving the readers full view into their thoughts and actions. Upon reading the last page, I yearned to go back to the beginning and travel with these women again. They became real to me and I am 5 stars for me! There is no way I could have given this book less than five stars. Sejal Badani has a gift for written expression. Much of her narrative shook me to my core. It was poignant, haunting and beautiful and I found myself highlighting much of the book.She presented her characters in totality, giving the readers full view into their thoughts and actions. Upon reading the last page, I yearned to go back to the beginning and travel with these women again. They became real to me and I am not ready to let them go. I had the audio narration as well and Karen Peakes' performance was stellar. I highly recommend it. TRAIL OF BROKEN WINGS is one of my favorite books and I will definitely reread it, after my heart has had some time to rest.

  10. 4 out of 5

    RitaSkeeter

    Something I haven't read much in literature until now is the continuing impacts of childhood abuse on people into their adulthoods. This book explores that topic through three sisters who are reunited as their father lay dying. Through the sisters the author shows the way abuse can affect people differently. One sister is a high achiever who likes to control her environment and that of her loved ones; another is a people pleaser; the youngest is the rebel who left the home. The personalities Something I haven't read much in literature until now is the continuing impacts of childhood abuse on people into their adulthoods. This book explores that topic through three sisters who are reunited as their father lay dying. Through the sisters the author shows the way abuse can affect people differently. One sister is a high achiever who likes to control her environment and that of her loved ones; another is a people pleaser; the youngest is the rebel who left the home. The personalities of all three have developed to help them cope with their childhoods, but each of them faces struggles with the way parts of their coping strategies are maladaptive to them as adults and create problems for them as adults. Another thing the author did that I really loved was to show the impact witnessing domestic violence can have on children. I loved that the author tackled this subject matter; there isn't enough written about this and the author has some important things to say. Unfortunately for me, the way the story was told affected my enjoyment. This is fiction, and I read fiction to be entertained. I like to learn stuff along the way, but entertainment is my end goal. The author completed a lot of research - that is clear, but struggled to bring this to life in her book. I'm a feeler - I feel therefore I am. I want to be able to empathise with characters, I want to walk in someone else's shoes for awhile. But I found this book oddly lacking in emotion. Every thought, feeling, or action of the characters was intellectualised and rationalised. The characters were not allowed to just feel and be present with an emotion, it all had to be explained for the next paragraph or two until any hope of connection with the characters was washed away. I felt patronised as a reader. I didn't feel the author had trust in me, her reader, to understand what was happening or to draw my own conclusions. Thus the overly exaggerated tell, don't show. I loved the ideas in this book, but the execution left me cold.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kavita

    I hate giving this book a low rating since Sejal Badani has written this from experience, and it is semi-autobiographical. The writing of abuse must have been cathartic for her, as writing and art often is. This is even a plot point in the book. But despite this, I did not think this was a good book at all, though it did get interesting at some points. The first thing that struck me while reading is that this author knows nothing about India, except for saris and chai and some details of Indian f I hate giving this book a low rating since Sejal Badani has written this from experience, and it is semi-autobiographical. The writing of abuse must have been cathartic for her, as writing and art often is. This is even a plot point in the book. But despite this, I did not think this was a good book at all, though it did get interesting at some points. The first thing that struck me while reading is that this author knows nothing about India, except for saris and chai and some details of Indian food. She even gets that wrong once or twice, referring to gulab jamun as gulab jambu. Didn't inspire confidence at all. She refers to the practice of sati as something that the mother witnessed and is quite common in India. But there have only been around 30 cases of sati since Independence, many of them being suicide rather than ritualistic sati, committed because of the lack of social structure for widows. This is by far the worst faux pas, but Badani constantly writes of India as a very different (and worse) place than what it really is. There are enough problems with sexism in this country, without her exaggerating things. But more unrealistic than anything else is the name of the abusive father. He is called Brent. Think about it. A traditional Hindu Gujarati Brahmin from a remote village in India was named Brent. This very fact did not allow me to get into the book deeply. In an interview, Badani claims that she gave a 'Western' (though actually Anglicised Christian, and not Western) name to the abuser so that it gave a 'more universal feel' to the story. So now Anglicised or 'Western' as she prefers to call it, is the universal norm? Really? In depicting one social issue, Badani has only raised another. The characters are also very unrelatable. Of the three sisters, one is a hot-shot CEO of a company and is filthy rich. The second sister is a trophy wife and married to a hot-shot CEO. They too are filthy rich. It's a bit of an overkill and quite annoying. You can be rich without having to exaggerate the fact. The third sister is more interesting (though also filthy rich). It is hard to get interested in the lives of these people or even get to know who they are because so often the story is told in short flashbacks. So you are not experiencing their joys and sorrows with them. Instead, it is one long essay on physical and emotional abuse. There are barely any happy moments and they just go from one emotional drama to the other. More overkill. At one point, the next generation female, Gia (really?), too accepts abuse, and this is the one place where the character could have been fleshed out because her story is taking place in the present. But no, just more of the same. More and more melodrama, until you simple don't care. The influence of Bollywood on Badani is pretty obvious!

  12. 4 out of 5

    David Bulgarelli

    There are good things said in here, and it's undoubtedly powerful. I feel like the author fell in love with her own voice a bit too much. One or two long, emotional metaphors per page about the power of the past, or emotional struggle, is definitely overkill, and took away from my enjoyment of the book. I also don't think the author knows how to write believable male characters very well, as the characters attached to each daughter seemed to be pulled directly out of soap operas. I very much enj There are good things said in here, and it's undoubtedly powerful. I feel like the author fell in love with her own voice a bit too much. One or two long, emotional metaphors per page about the power of the past, or emotional struggle, is definitely overkill, and took away from my enjoyment of the book. I also don't think the author knows how to write believable male characters very well, as the characters attached to each daughter seemed to be pulled directly out of soap operas. I very much enjoyed the Ranee chapters, and thought the author did a good job of incorporating the thoughts of the comatose father in those.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Prepare yourself. Period. This is a heavy-hauling emotionally driven story served on just about every page. Know this going in. This book deals with abuse from the onslaught of others and the continual, self-imposed abuse delved out as a result. It was comparable to stacking branch upon branch on a formidable bonfire. Trail of Broken Wings is the story of an immigrant family from India who come to America for a better life. Two of the daughters were born in India and the third is born in America. Prepare yourself. Period. This is a heavy-hauling emotionally driven story served on just about every page. Know this going in. This book deals with abuse from the onslaught of others and the continual, self-imposed abuse delved out as a result. It was comparable to stacking branch upon branch on a formidable bonfire. Trail of Broken Wings is the story of an immigrant family from India who come to America for a better life. Two of the daughters were born in India and the third is born in America. The father is the central character upon whom all action and interaction rests. You will come to know the terror that visited his wife and his daughters as the story unfolds in tidal waves of revelation. POSSIBLE SPOILERS: The subject matter is overwhelming at times and is presented relentlessly by Sejal Badani. While we feel compassion for the female characters, we see no evidence of at least one of them motivated by self-preservation. Yes, I get the fact that there are plenty of variables here. The family maintains the patriarchal element of the Indian culture. But this family has been immersed in the American culture for many, many years. The girls have been exposed to the community, the school system, the business world, and the very social elements of the American culture. Baldani paints no light at the end of the tunnel. And we get that. We know the statistics only too well. Let's see what Sejal Badani offers in her next book. I'd like to have the experience of a soul-soaring character who offers a way out to her readers and the very means to do that topped with the fragrance of hope.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Prajna

    I have never read another book like this. It was sad. Almost all the time. But I couldn't put it down. The author made me care about each and every character, even the abusive father, and I was drawn into their lives. As an abuse survivor myself, I thought she handled the subject matter in a way that was real, honest, and free from cliches. Either she did her research very well, or she's been there herself. I especially liked that the story was about how each of the women coped with the abuse in I have never read another book like this. It was sad. Almost all the time. But I couldn't put it down. The author made me care about each and every character, even the abusive father, and I was drawn into their lives. As an abuse survivor myself, I thought she handled the subject matter in a way that was real, honest, and free from cliches. Either she did her research very well, or she's been there herself. I especially liked that the story was about how each of the women coped with the abuse in different ways. I also thought she did a good job portraying the Indian American culture and the struggles that come with immigrating. Definitely a book to read when you have time to sit and take it all in (and have a box of tissues).

  15. 5 out of 5

    Zaimah

    More like a 1.5. Predictable but that's not the worst part. It is the characters. They're all very one dimensional. There is very little change though the catalyst is there. And the eldest sister is just awful.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jeannette Nikolova

    Read on the WondrousBooks blog. Another gem among my NetGalley finds. To be honest, a couple of months ago I noticed that I lean on very similar books, and most of them aren't exactly newly published. NetGalley has given me the opportunity to diversify my bookshelf and to read more contemporary literature. But that can be both a good and a bad thing. I've stumbled upon some really bad and some really good books lately. Trail of Broken Wings definitely falls with the latter category. The book t Read on the WondrousBooks blog. Another gem among my NetGalley finds. To be honest, a couple of months ago I noticed that I lean on very similar books, and most of them aren't exactly newly published. NetGalley has given me the opportunity to diversify my bookshelf and to read more contemporary literature. But that can be both a good and a bad thing. I've stumbled upon some really bad and some really good books lately. Trail of Broken Wings definitely falls with the latter category. The book tells the story of a family which gets together when the father falls into a coma. One of the daughters, Sonya, has been absent for years. The two who stayed close to home are very different from one another, Marin is a successful business woman, while Trisha is a stay-at-home wife. The family seems somewhat normal from the outside, but it actually has a dark secret which has nearly broken them apart as a family and broken each one of them as a person: their father, now in a coma, has for long years hidden from the outside world his aggression and the violence that he has inflicted upon his family. I've certainly read books that hurt the reader deeper than this one, for example The Kite Runner. However, that doesn't mean that Trail of Broken Wings doesn't present some deeply disturbing events. At first I was bored by the black sheep routine that Sonya has, but as the story started to develop and enfold, I realized that this book is about so much more than a girl who decided to leave home but was forced to come back. Each of the main characters managed to make me feel a whole palette of emotions, sometimes I found them harder to like, and sometimes I found them hard not to pity. Ultimately, I'm satisfied with the character development and the ending. Out of the all three, the two I liked the most where Ranee and Trisha. I think it was meant to be otherwise, with the way Sonya and Marin where described, I felt like they were the characters I was supposed to like. I truly appreciated Marin's pursuit of Adam, I felt that in her situation I would have done the same and more. Sonya, however, despite the fact that it was said time and again that she was so special and worthy of attention and love, felt forced to me. She was too special a snowflake, and aside from David and Ranee's attempts to make her seem interesting to the reader, I didn't feel she contributed to the story in any way. I don't know if it was the result of it being said too often that she was the invisible child in the family, but she did feel like the invisible main character. Since she didn't have a personal story, different than the other characters, except maybe for having left, I didn't care much about her. Trisha and Ranee however were very interesting to read about. I said above that I liked them. I'm not sure that like is the right word, but I felt like they had so much more going on about them than the rest of the characters. I was intrigued by Trisha even before her whole story was told. And Ranee and her motivations interested me throughout the whole book. The theme that caught my attention was the loss of your native culture and country. Despite the fact that Brent was the villain in this story, I couldn't help but feel sad for all of the people who live their countries in search of a better future, only to have all of their dreams, ambitions and desires stepped on and ridiculed by the people who have been more fortunate. What a strange world we live in, all of us are from the same species, yet many feel like they are more special, more human and more deserving than others. What an ugly world. I wouldn't call this book a light read but it's certainly interesting, if at times a bit heavy, or rather - saddening.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Melodie

    An immigrant family from India dealing with the cycle of abuse as their father/abuser lies in a coma. Ranee and her three daughters are all bound by the secrets,lies and knowledge of the abuse they suffered through the years. All have a voice throughout the book, each with totally different but no less heartbreaking perspectives. And the vicious generational continuum is center stage as it ensnares her granddaughter. The title speaks volumes. Be prepared. This is a psychological study of abuse. An immigrant family from India dealing with the cycle of abuse as their father/abuser lies in a coma. Ranee and her three daughters are all bound by the secrets,lies and knowledge of the abuse they suffered through the years. All have a voice throughout the book, each with totally different but no less heartbreaking perspectives. And the vicious generational continuum is center stage as it ensnares her granddaughter. The title speaks volumes. Be prepared. This is a psychological study of abuse. From the perpetrator to the multiple victims,all have issues large and small. I found it equally heart wrenching and uplifting as the four women come to grips with how their past shaped their present and their refusal to let it define their future. Not an easy read but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  18. 4 out of 5

    cameron

    Totally disappointed in this book. I finished it but could easily have stopped mid-way through. There was the opportunity here to really divulge the reality of generations of abuse but my god...how many times can you be told the same thing over and over and over. The characters were predictable, the progress of the plots of the three sisters, the mother and the grand daughter were so cliche as to be silly and the writing was phony as hell. The neatly wrapped up endings were laughable to me. Perha Totally disappointed in this book. I finished it but could easily have stopped mid-way through. There was the opportunity here to really divulge the reality of generations of abuse but my god...how many times can you be told the same thing over and over and over. The characters were predictable, the progress of the plots of the three sisters, the mother and the grand daughter were so cliche as to be silly and the writing was phony as hell. The neatly wrapped up endings were laughable to me. Perhaps young people might find this information new enough to be interested but there was no new insight for me.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kristy Miller

    A warning to those who read this: This book contains depictions and descriptions of physical and sexual abuse, and the aftermath. Brent is in a hospital bed, in a coma. The doctors don’t really know why the coma happened, but they do not think that he will wake again. This event brings his family together at his bedside; his wife Ranee, and his three daughters, Marin, Trisha, and Sonya. But what appears to be a perfect family dealing with a tragedy has a lot going on underneath the surface, beca A warning to those who read this: This book contains depictions and descriptions of physical and sexual abuse, and the aftermath. Brent is in a hospital bed, in a coma. The doctors don’t really know why the coma happened, but they do not think that he will wake again. This event brings his family together at his bedside; his wife Ranee, and his three daughters, Marin, Trisha, and Sonya. But what appears to be a perfect family dealing with a tragedy has a lot going on underneath the surface, because Brent was a violent man. As they wait for him to die, the culture of secrecy begins to backfire on these women, and they are forced to deal with the life and legacy of domestic violence, and what it has made them. This is quite a powerful book. The author tells the story from the point of view of these four angry, hurt, and sad women, and each of their voices are clearly developed. Brent never speaks a word, except in flashbacks that the women live through, but he is ever present. The author does an excellent job exposing the culture of silence, both from their Indian heritage and the secrecy that often goes with domestic abuse, and how the silence can continue to damage lives long after the abuse stops. Some people mention twists that they were surprised by, and that they may have thought were too much, but I saw them coming from a long way off. I have never experienced abuse, but I have read and seen enough about it to see them coming. They do not diminish the story. I get the feeling that this may be at least partially autobiographical, because it was written with so much compassion and understanding. Occasionally the language was a bit melodramatic, but not overly so, and not to the point of annoyance. This was an excellent book, and one I think should be read widely. 4.5 stars.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Katie Duntley

    This was a really powerful book, one that stopped me and made me think about it and my own life. As I was making my way through this book, I became frustrated with how the characters were handling certain situations. Marin in particular, was REALLY getting on my nerves. The communication was so dysfunctional and I wanted to just shake all of them and tell them to get it together! But as I kept reading, something that Marin said caught my attention. I don't remember the exact quote, but Gia was sp This was a really powerful book, one that stopped me and made me think about it and my own life. As I was making my way through this book, I became frustrated with how the characters were handling certain situations. Marin in particular, was REALLY getting on my nerves. The communication was so dysfunctional and I wanted to just shake all of them and tell them to get it together! But as I kept reading, something that Marin said caught my attention. I don't remember the exact quote, but Gia was speaking to her about their situation (trying not to give anything away) and Marin comments that Gia speaks with the confidence of someone who's never been hit or abused. That stopped me in my tracks and really made me think about how abuse effects people. I realized that I was looking at these characters from my own perspective, never having suffered through abuse of any kind, I really had no idea how to relate to it. So I got rid of my judgmental outlook and paid closer attention to how each character was dealing with the pain of their past, broken as they all were, and at that point I couldn't put the book down. It seems as though the author has some experience with this topic, and I applaud her for writing such a moving book that really brings up the emotional issues that go along with abuse. It certainly got me thinking about it, and I have a lot more empathy and a bit more understanding of the effects. Well worth the read.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Alaina

    EH? Trail of Broken Wings could've been a lot better in my eyes. It's about three sisters reuniting by their mother's side while their dad is in a coma. Throughout the book we learn about their broken family, how each person was changed from their experiences, and who they have become today. As for the characters, they were meh. So boring and ughhhhhhhh! I couldn't connect to any of them nor did I care about their lives. The few twists and turns thrown at me weren't intriguing enough to keep turni EH? Trail of Broken Wings could've been a lot better in my eyes. It's about three sisters reuniting by their mother's side while their dad is in a coma. Throughout the book we learn about their broken family, how each person was changed from their experiences, and who they have become today. As for the characters, they were meh. So boring and ughhhhhhhh! I couldn't connect to any of them nor did I care about their lives. The few twists and turns thrown at me weren't intriguing enough to keep turning the page. Of course, I obviously did turn the page because I just needed to see how this crap was going to end. Overall, it was kind of predictable and I was still bored with this book. It just didn't seem realistic to me and again, I just couldn't connect to ANYONE. Not even a rock.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Isa

    Despite it's delicate subject this book is such a painfully beautiful story.....and the writing is sublime.... through written words you are there, you live and you feel emotions....

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    Somehow, a Kindle First selection shouldn't achieve a 5 star rating. Why? because it's usually a first novel, which means glitches in the story or weaknesses in character development, and we have to leave room for improvement. However, Trail of Broken Wings ( an excellent title) shatters that unofficial rule! Told with a brutal understanding of the effects of violence perpetrated on family members by a family member, the story elicits horror, disgust and, ultimately, healing...to a degree and lon Somehow, a Kindle First selection shouldn't achieve a 5 star rating. Why? because it's usually a first novel, which means glitches in the story or weaknesses in character development, and we have to leave room for improvement. However, Trail of Broken Wings ( an excellent title) shatters that unofficial rule! Told with a brutal understanding of the effects of violence perpetrated on family members by a family member, the story elicits horror, disgust and, ultimately, healing...to a degree and long term. There is such depth to the story that this reader wonders about the background of the author. Could a person not experiencing this childhood write with such clarity of thought about it?

  24. 4 out of 5

    K.H. Leigh

    While I found the story compelling and the characters intriguing, this book suffered from way too much self-analysis and introspection. For every paragraph of story there was another paragraph of internal monologue, wherein the characters would basically say, "The reason I reacted like this is because of this thing which happened in my past." Pretty quickly it felt like I was being hit over the head with it. Yes, the past had left them scarred, but I didn't need it explained to me on every page.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Siv30

    " Taking Gia’s hand now, she lightly traces the veins with her finger. “Feel the blood? That is the same blood that is in me, in your mother, in Sonya masi, in Trisha masi. So whatever you do, whatever happens to you, it affects all of us, because you have our blood.” She holds Gia’s face gently in her palms, staring directly into her eyes. “Your mother and her sisters came from my womb and you came from your mother’s. You are ours, my darling.”" סיפור יפיפה וקורע לב. סוניה חוזרת לביתה לאחר שאביה " Taking Gia’s hand now, she lightly traces the veins with her finger. “Feel the blood? That is the same blood that is in me, in your mother, in Sonya masi, in Trisha masi. So whatever you do, whatever happens to you, it affects all of us, because you have our blood.” She holds Gia’s face gently in her palms, staring directly into her eyes. “Your mother and her sisters came from my womb and you came from your mother’s. You are ours, my darling.”" סיפור יפיפה וקורע לב. סוניה חוזרת לביתה לאחר שאביה מאושפז בקומה. סוניה עזבה את משפחתה לפני 15 שנים ולא הסתכלה לאחור. מאחוריה נשארו אימא שלה רנה, אחותה הבכורה מארין ואחותה המבוגרת ממנה טרישה שהיתה הקרובה ביותר אליה. בקולות מתחלפים הספר מביא את סיפור המשפחה, סיפור ההגירה, סיפוי ההצלחה והכישלון. הוריה היגרו מהודו לארה"ב בכדי לתת לבנות אפשרות ללמוד ולהצליח. המעבר לא היה קל ואף טראומתי במובנים רבים לכל המשפחה. מיד לאחר המעבר, האב החל מתעלל בבנות המשפחה. סוניה שנולדה בארה"ב נחשבה לטעות. אביה ציפה לבן, וכאשר סוניה נולדה הוא היה מאוכזב בצורה קשה שהחמירה את התעללותו. בזמן שהאב בקומה והמשפחה ממתינה לבשורות, חייהן של הבנות מתפרקים לרסיסים. "Maybe when one door shuts, another one doesn’t really open. Maybe, instead, it’s just a sign that you are locked in forever." האם מכה על חטא מנסה לגבש ולאחד את הבנות ולסייע להן לממש את הפוטנציאל שלהן. במשך השנים סבלה מאלימות של בעלה וראתה אותו מתעלל בבנותיה ושתקה. עתה היא חייבת למצוא דרך לסייע לבנות להבריא ולהתקדם מהעבר המשפחתי שעוטה עליהן כמו ערפל כבד. מרין, נשואה לרג', מגלה שבתה ג'יה חווה אלימות ובנסיון להתמודד עם האירועים שמתגלגלים מהגילוי חווה התפרקות של משפחתה ונאלצת להתמודד עם אמיתויות על עצמה ועל חייה. טרישה, נשואה לאריק שרוצה ילדים. גם חייהם מתפרקים במהלך הספר והגילויים שנחשפים גורמים לטלטל עזה וכואבת. סוניה שחזרה נאלצת לחוות את הזכרונות, את הפחדים, את עצמה. הספר הזה עוסק בצורה עמוקה ביותר בחווית האלימות במשפחה. בחווית ההגירה וההצלחה שכל כך חשובה לדור המהגרים. ספר יפיפה וכואב. בסוף הזלתי לא מעט דמעות יחד עם זאת הפרקים האחרונים הם גם הגורם לכך שהורדתי כוכב לספר. בניגוד ליתר הספר שקלח ולא התאמץ, יש בהם משהו מתאמץ להוביל לסוף טוב, ואם לא לסוף טוב אז רמז לעתיד טוב. הבנתי את הסופרת אבל המאמץ הזה דווקא פגם לי בהנאה במידה מסויימת.

  26. 5 out of 5

    aPriL does feral sometimes

    Three adult sisters, Sonja, Marin and Trisha, along with their mother, Ranee, take turns sitting at the hospital bed of their father, Brent. None of them love Brent, but otherwise, their feelings are constricted and messed up. The doctor comments on how faithful and full of love they must be as a family because more than most, one of them is there every day. Wordless, they become silent and look at their feet. Will they ever have the courage to talk about the elephant in the room - Brent's abuse Three adult sisters, Sonja, Marin and Trisha, along with their mother, Ranee, take turns sitting at the hospital bed of their father, Brent. None of them love Brent, but otherwise, their feelings are constricted and messed up. The doctor comments on how faithful and full of love they must be as a family because more than most, one of them is there every day. Wordless, they become silent and look at their feet. Will they ever have the courage to talk about the elephant in the room - Brent's abuse? With the exception of Sonja, all of them are married. However, every one of them is unhappy and still struggling with the effects of their father's abuse. Their marriages are full of secrets and lies because they have never spoken of the hitting and the slapping, the bruises and the name-calling. Marin's daughter Gia struggles to keep up with Marin's rigid exacting demands of scholastic excellence, no excuses, as Marin works and works and works, climbing the ladder of career success after success. Trisha's smile rarely falters as her house and body are kept as beautiful as she can manage with the wealth her husband provides, her life kept smooth and efficient and perfect, but childless. Sonja finally left home after she told her father she would not go to college and study to be a lawyer, but instead she wanted to be a photographer, and her mother told her she should have aborted Sonja. However, Ranee spoke under compulsion, prodded by Brent to reject Sonja. They all have seen Brent beat Ranee bloody. Now Brent is on a ventilator, near death. As the days go by, and they speak of 'pulling the plug', each of them suddenly finds they are in crisis, coming apart. Continuing the pretence this family is normal does not work anymore. The father's abuse has been a poison killing all of them. Can they fix it? The novel is not graphic, but it is a good psychological study.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Anna at A Wondrous Bookshelf

    Trail of Broken Wings is a beautifully written novel about a horrible topic–domestic abuse. I personally don’t gravitate towards books that deal with abuse, domestic or sexual. However, Trail of Broken Wings was recommended to me by a dear friend and I’m so glad I gave it a chance. The book tells the story of an Indian family living in America. The chapters alternate between the accounts of the three sisters and the mother. Marin, the oldest daughter and the overachiever of the family, Trisha is Trail of Broken Wings is a beautifully written novel about a horrible topic–domestic abuse. I personally don’t gravitate towards books that deal with abuse, domestic or sexual. However, Trail of Broken Wings was recommended to me by a dear friend and I’m so glad I gave it a chance. The book tells the story of an Indian family living in America. The chapters alternate between the accounts of the three sisters and the mother. Marin, the oldest daughter and the overachiever of the family, Trisha is the middle child and the beloved one, and Sonya the youngest of the sisters. Each one of them recounts their lives, their memories, their abuse under the hands of their father, and how they have come to cope with it. I loved Badani’s writing. She makes it almost easy to read about domestic abuse because her prose is so beautiful. “Heroes are not born or created. They become so in the passing moments of life. When something or someone demands you be more than you have been, when you must put aside your own needs and what is best for you to fight for another, no matter the cost. The past, the day-to-day living becomes irrelevant. All that matters is that instant when the ticking of the clock is louder than an ocean’s wave hitting the rocks, when time does not stand still, but slows, every second longer than the last one. This is when the decision becomes the only thing you can hear and see. When the choice falls out of your hand and fate intervenes. When your life is no longer yours but conjoined with another’s, each dependent upon the other to survive and thrive.” The book has some description of violence but it is not too graphic. My only complaint about this novel was the ending. It felt rushed and unlikely. Overall, it is a beautifully written book.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kelley

    I won a set of these books from TLC Book Tours for my book discussion group. We're reading it for our February meeting and hoping to Skype with Sejal Badani, the author. This is a heart-breaking, poignant novel that I could not put down. However, I waited a full 24 hours before finishing the last 10 pages because I just wasn't sure how I would feel about the ending. It was just that emotional for me. For those of us who were damaged by a childhood, this novel offers a mirror to our pain, even tho I won a set of these books from TLC Book Tours for my book discussion group. We're reading it for our February meeting and hoping to Skype with Sejal Badani, the author. This is a heart-breaking, poignant novel that I could not put down. However, I waited a full 24 hours before finishing the last 10 pages because I just wasn't sure how I would feel about the ending. It was just that emotional for me. For those of us who were damaged by a childhood, this novel offers a mirror to our pain, even though it may not be the same pain as experienced by the characters. I enjoyed taking the walk with the women of this family and watching a healing begin to take place. I will highly recommend this book for book clubs or individuals. I will warn you, your heart will be broken and you will shed tears...but it's so worth the journey!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kat

    Blah. The best thing about this book is title.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tom

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I downloaded Trail of Broken Wings as my Kindle First book for April. As if often the case with the Kindle First titles, I had no knowledge of this book before starting it. One of the big advantages of the program is that I get to read books that don't have much, if any, foreknowledge of going in. This was certainly the case with Badani's family drama. Trail of Broken Wings is a dark story about a family torn apart by physical and sexual abuse. Not knowing this going in made for a jarring experie I downloaded Trail of Broken Wings as my Kindle First book for April. As if often the case with the Kindle First titles, I had no knowledge of this book before starting it. One of the big advantages of the program is that I get to read books that don't have much, if any, foreknowledge of going in. This was certainly the case with Badani's family drama. Trail of Broken Wings is a dark story about a family torn apart by physical and sexual abuse. Not knowing this going in made for a jarring experience. The novel focuses on the mother and three daughters who come together when the abusive patriarch falls into a coma. These main female characters are all fully realized and interesting. Early on, it seemed like they would easily slip into stereotypes, but they soon became much more well-rounded and all dealt with their traumas in different ways. Overall, I liked this book but there were a couple main drawbacks. One is that the story becomes melodramatic at times, especially regarding the oldest daughter's handling of her own family's crisis and regarding the mother's responsibility for her husband's failing health. The other major drawback is that sometime's the author's research becomes too obvious. For the most part, the research manifests in telling details, but, at times, the characters sound like they are speaking straight out of a textbook. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, it is distracting. But the engaging characters and most of the plot made me glad I read this book.

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