The Buried Secrets of Peonies by Mernegar Dorgoly – Review


Title: The Buried Secrets of Peonies

Author: Mernegar Dorgoly

Genre: Short Stories

Publisher: Independently Published and out now

Summary: from goodreads

Mernegar Dorgoly’s short story collection—The Buried Secrets of Peonies—is incredible in both its emotional breadth and intellectual honesty while taking readers through the labyrinth of post-revolution Iran.
In “Peonies”, we pull the curtain back to watch the painful yet hopeful evolution of a girl becoming a woman, and then that woman uncovering family secrets she never could have imagined.
Within the frame of these potent, unpretentious, diamond-tight stories, readers feel the author’s ultimate humanity. Ranging from the dark corners of prison cells to the grief of a mother to the captive bonds of love, this collection culminates in a fiercely passionate letter from the narrator to her mother.
These eight stories are searingly truthful, deeply felt, and ruthless in their desire to expose human complexity and frailty. This is a powerful new addition to serious short story collections in American fiction.


“Stories of loss, love, separation; stories of people who I knew and stories that were passed on to keep memories alive.”

The Buried Secrets of Peonies, Mernegar Dorgoly

This is an extremely powerful slender book of short stories each of which gives a voice to the people caught up in the aftermath of the 1979 revolution in Iran. This is not a subject that I know a great deal about but that did not stop me from feeling the full emotional weight of these stories. They are all full of lyrical writing and portray people who are all very different yet have a common reason for their pain. These stories contain a great deal of sadness and overwhelming grief but there are also moments of hope and love, showing that even in the darkest of times, all is not lost. I have already read this collection more than once and it is definitely one I will return to many times. Despite the stories brief nature they manage to convey so much emotion which is in part due to the author’s connection to Iran, it’s people and it’s history. These stories, like the impactful cover of the book are haunting and memorable. I would recommend this book to anyone. This collection’s purpose is not to narrate the facts of a certain tumultuous period of time. Rather it is about giving a human face and name to the many victims and ensuring they are not forgotten. An important and worthwhile read.


I received a copy of this book from the author. My review is honest and completely my own opinions.

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