Book review: Trail of Broken Wings, by Sejal Badani

Never depend on another person for your happiness. If someone had the authority to give, then he or she had the authority to take away.

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. Taken from Goodreads.


I honestly don’t know what to say. Reading this book was one hell of a ride for me, one that broke me to tears. Before I delve into that, let’s start this review with why I have always loved to read stories written by Indian author. When I was in junior highschool, I stumbled upon Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s Sister of My Heart, and I fell in love by the complexities of the story and its characters. From just that one book, I knew that Indian authors are my cup of tea. Fast forward to my university years, and I stumbled upon Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake, which is equally heartbreaking but beautiful at the same time. I know I haven’t read a lot of books from Indian authors, but from what I read I know that the stories are always beautifully written, even with its own fair share of tragedies. So, stumbling upon this book, I thought, “it’s high time I return to Indian authors.”

As I’ve said, most Indian authors’ books that I’ve read, there seems to always a some sort of family tragedy that just breaks apart all of heart when I read, it was always heartbreaking. But, this book is just awful! No! Not in a bad way, like, oh this story is just awful. It’s awful in the way that even from the first chapter, I am already heartbroken. It was so sad, and painful. And yet, it was beautifully written. Even as it was writing of heartbreak, betrayal, fear, anger, and the whatnots, you can still enjoy the prose and, really, once you start reading this book, there’s no way you can put it down. I mean it. I showed up late to work twice in the two days that I’ve spent reading this book.

What I love the most about this book is how the four main characters’ lives were centralised around the father, and yet the father was not even present enough in the story. I can’t be even bothered to care about him, although he was the catalyst of the whole storyline. Point is, this book is beautifully written (I don’t know how many times have I said that?), the characters were so vivid that sometimes you felt like this could have been any number people that you probably saw, and the amazing thing is, it spoke of abuse without portraying that the victims of abuse are always powerless. It’s nice to see characters that are surviving in ways that are unique to each of them in coping from their traumatic experience. The thing that I also noticed was that it didn’t even try to rationalise the abuser’s motive, it didn’t try to create a reason as to why someone could turn abusive when before they were not. Sometimes, people are just abusive, no reason needed. This book focuses on the surviving aspect of  being victim of abuse, and it’s just amazing.

Oh my God, I seriously need to stop saying amazing, but this book is really amazing. I mean it.

Honestly if my rambling is not convincing enough, I don’t know what else to say. Wait, I know! Just read the book, okay? Please???

Title: Trail of Broken Wings

Author: Sejal Badani

Genre: Contemporary, Fiction, Historical fiction


Goodreads link


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