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Not Without My Daughter Paperback – 5 Jul 2004


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Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi; New Ed edition (5 July 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552152161
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552152167
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 3.1 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 10,919 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"Compelling drama... fascinating, if disturbing... a moving story of one person's fortitude, courage and faith" The New York Times Book Review "The horrific situation in which Betty Mahmoody found herself would give any loving mother nightmares. Here is an amazing story of a woman's courage and total devotion to her child that will have you rooting for them along every inch of their treacherous journey" -- Susan Oudot Woman's Own

Book Description

The true story of one woman's struggle to keep her child and win freedom for them both.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By WindsorMummy TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 29 Dec 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I cannot recommend this book enough. I couldn't put it down and read it from cover to cover in just over a day. I was totally entranced and even after I'd finished reading, the story and events stayed with me. I loved the vivid descriptions of Iran and experiences of day to day life. I think I found the relationship between Betty and Moody and with her in-laws of particular interest, as my English mother married an Arab man, so there were definite similarities in mentality and outlook. I enjoyed the book so much I ordered the DVD as soon as I'd finished reading. I have since lent the book to my mother and recommended it to others. My love for this book has sparked a keen interest in this genre and I have since read several other similar books. read this book - you won't be disappointed!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Janey on 12 Sep 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was recommended to me by a friend and it was a gripping, if harrowing, read. Well written, although some of the names were confusing, it is a salutory warning to anyone thinking of getting involved in a relationship far outside their own culture. It made me angry and horrified at the conditions and treatment she endured. The tension lasted right to the end as she tried to escape. Well worth reading.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By minniemouse on 4 Sep 2012
Format: Paperback
this book is possibly the best book i have ever read. it grips you from the very first page and i found it very hard to put down! it is very hard to find any book that comes remotely close to being as good. buy it!!
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 12 Jun 2004
Format: Paperback
On 3rd August 1984 Betty Mahmoody arrived in Iran with her four-year-old daughter Mahtob, who was then approaching five for a "two week holiday" and to meet her husbands family. Her husband Dr Sayyed Bozorg Mahmoody ("Moody") had lived in the United States of America for two decades and was an American educated and qualified doctor.
Unknown to Betty was the fact that prior to her departure to Iran Moody lost his job at the Michigan hospital where he had been working.
Upon their arrival at the airport in Tehran, Iran's capital. Moody's family were there to greet them showering flowers upon Betty and Mahtob. Little did Betty and Mahtob know were the appalling squalor of their living conditions that were to welcome them. The whole house was unhygienic and fifthly and the place stank of mildew. The food, which they ate often, had bugs in them.
The day before they were due to go home Moody told his wife and daughter, "You are here for the rest of your life. Do you understand? You are not leaving Iran. You are here until you die."
Over time Moody grew more and more violent and often beat Betty physical but also tortured her mentally, verbally and emotionally. On several occasions he threatened to kill her and he even threatened to beat Mahtob up.
Both mother and daughter soon found themselves held hostage and constantly spied upon, either by Moody or his family. Moody once separated Mahtob from her mother for several weeks and was questioned and crossed-examined by one of Moodys relatives.
After several escape plans fell through Betty was given the name of the man who would help her and Mahtob out of Iran. They crossed the border into Turkey and made their way to the American Embassy after nearly a week of walking in the mountains with smugglers. Turkey being the most dangerous way out of Iran.
I strongly suggest you read this book to be able to appreciate what Betty and Mahtob went though during their eighteen-months of hell.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By FantasyWriter on 27 May 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was an excellent and cautionary account from a woman who exhibited courage and determination in the face of virtual enslavement and imprisonment by her Iranian husband and his family. The volatile and unstable, but fully Americanised, Dr Moody takes his wife and five year old daughter Mahtob to Iran ostensibly on a two week holiday, only to force them to stay as he decides not return to America. The story documents not only her terrifying ordeal but also her daring escape across the mountains of Turkish Kurdistan to get to relative safety.

I have no doubt to the authenticity of this book, or the veracity of Betty Mahmoody's story, but do understand why many Persians reading this will feel quite angry and feel their culture and country has been represented here. I think for the American audience the wider historical and geopolitical contexts of this story were omitted to focus on human interest, which is a real shame, as there was plenty of room for reflection without impacting the drama. At its heart this is the story of a woman fleeing an abusive home, and trying to keep herself mentally and physically together while she makes numerous attempts to escape.

I agree with some critics that the modern cover is entirely misleading as it shows a Saudi/Gulf naqab/face covering, which was actively discouraged in Iran both under the most recent Shahs and surprisingly also by the post revolutionary regime - the reason of course being the relgio-political statement that Iran and Iranians are Shia and Persian, not Sunni and Arab. I also find the constant reference to the various characters "arabic" features grating and misleading, and Persian readers would be justifiably outraged. For all Islamic Iran's faults, they are not the Taliban, or Saudis.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. Dell on 2 Nov 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a great book
I won't go into the story as would not want to spoil it for you,
what I will say is this book is full of sadness, hope and love
It is a great read and real eye opener to life in other cultures
There is a film about this story but its not a patch on the book as
so much is missed out.
Buy it and enjoy it....if you think you have it hard, read this.
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