Farangi Girl by Ashley Dartnell. Roads, £18.99.

THIS moving autobiographical account of her childhood as the daughter of expats in 1960s Iran fulfils two personal goals for Ashley Dartnell.

The first, to be a writer – an ambition born from the escapism she enjoyed reading books as a youngster. The second to understand the behaviour of her mother, which led to that escape into books in the first place.

The unravelling of her mother’s many secrets are interspersed with Dartnell’s colourful and sometimes graphic memories of living in Iran. And, as she finally understands why her mother was often bitter and resentful, Dartnell learns to appreciate who she is and what she wants from her own life.

Debbie Murray