Monday, February 8, 2016

Review: Trail of Broken Wings by Sejal Badani

Author: Sejal Badani
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Published: May 1, 2015
Purchase: Amazon  | B&N

Goodreads Summary: 

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. 


Trail of Broken Wings follows the emotional journey of three sisters and their mother who has reunited them as their father lies comatose.  Some pray for his healing, while others long for him to leave this world.

“The secrets my sisters and I hold like a lifeline are drumming within me, a steady relentless beat.  The secrets are demanding to be free, heard by the world.  Yet I am not ready.  I fear I never will be.”

Youngest daughter Sonya hasn’t seen her family for six years.  After her graduation, she drove away and never looked back.  When she hears her mother’s voice on her cell phone asking for her to return home because her father may be dying, she panics as the pain of her past steals her breath and forces her to confront the demons she’s tried to outrun.

“With approximately seven billion people in the world, I wonder how one person’s voice can have such an effect. 
... ‘Come home.  Please.  I need you.  We need you.’” 

This is such an intricate, complex story.  Relationships fracture and fall apart, some mend and start anew, and others are just beginning.

Each sister has a story to tell; and it was surprising how different their experiences were, but not surprising is how deeply affected they are by their tumultuous pasts and upbringing.  I ached for each sister and her own family members.  And while I struggle to understand how a mother can stand by as her child is being harmed, I hurt for her as well in her complete desperation and utter helplessness.  Her story angered me but in the end absolutely gutted me.

This family’s culture, their traditions, and even the food preparation were intriguing.  It was eye-opening and humbling to read about what this family went through and how their lives changed when they came to America.

The subject matter is a difficult one as it tackles domestic abuse at the hands of a husband and father who deservedly earned my hatred.  While this won’t be a book for everyone, as it is extremely heartbreaking, it was also hopeful and definitely riveting.  A very good debut with a powerful message.  I look forward to reading more of this author’s work.

“…even though not every story ends with a happy ending or begins with tragedy, along the way there are moments of both.  And those moments don’t define you or even break you – they are simply parts of the whole.”

I received this book in an exchange for my honest review.

© at A Belle's Tales



  1. This one sounds heartbreaking. I don't always do well with books surrounding abuse because I get so so so angry but you have me very intrigued about this one. Great review Wifey.

  2. This one definitely sounds like a book that will open your eyes and swallow your heart in pain. But I'm glad that it was also hopeful as well. I'm not sure I'd pick it up, but I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

    Lovely review!

    Hearts you big! <3

  3. I pick up one of these issue books as I call them every once in awhile. Even though they are hard to read, I always glean something from them. It sounds like this was a book like that for you. I am sure the domestic abuse was tough to read, but hopefully it was handled well and you came away with something.

  4. Sounds like a really good book; glad you liked it!

  5. Glad you ended up enjoying this and that it was well done. Not sure I am in the right place for this now, but will mark it.


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