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Nicht ohne meine Tochter

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Alternate Cover Edition ISBN 3404611306 (ISBN13: 9783404611300)


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Alternate Cover Edition ISBN 3404611306 (ISBN13: 9783404611300)

30 review for Nicht ohne meine Tochter

  1. 5 out of 5

    Crumb

    Fierce, Frightening, and Real This was a 500+ book that I finished within the span of two days.. This autobiography will make your soul weep. It is a MUST-READ. This story completely took my breath away. There aren't enough words to describe the suffering and heartache of the human condition in Not Without My Daughter. For those of you who aren't familiar with the story, I'll provide a very brief overview. Betty Mahmoody agrees to visit Iran with her husband, Moody, and daughter, Mahtob, despite Fierce, Frightening, and Real This was a 500+ book that I finished within the span of two days.. This autobiography will make your soul weep. It is a MUST-READ. This story completely took my breath away. There aren't enough words to describe the suffering and heartache of the human condition in Not Without My Daughter. For those of you who aren't familiar with the story, I'll provide a very brief overview. Betty Mahmoody agrees to visit Iran with her husband, Moody, and daughter, Mahtob, despite niggling thoughts to the contrary. Once there, Betty finds herself suffocated among a repressive environment that devalues women. Looking forward to their return home, Betty and Mahtob are shocked and dismayed when Moody reveals they will not be boarding the plane as planned. In fact, their new home, will be in Iran. I will never forget this autobiography. Betty Mahmoody showed an astounding level of courage in the face of adversity. I can't imagine being in her shoes. She was truly an example of a "Mama bear." There was nothing that Moody could have said or done to force Betty into submission. She endured violent abuse from her husband, isolation, and horrible culture shock; all the while, she never stopped planning and plotting. I'm simply amazed of what one can accomplish when truly forced up against a wall. I think.. if you want something bad enough, no one can stop you from achieving your goal. As Betty's father said.. "Where there's a will.. There's a way".

  2. 5 out of 5

    Beaman

    The untruths begin with the cover of the book, which features the image of a woman who is dressed in a manner which is decidedly not Iranian. So, even before you have read a single word, you have been given an image that is not authentic. The book is carefully packaged to cater to the American people's fears and prejudices. Also, the book isn't an isolated phenomenon. It's a product of a veritable cottage industry of horror stories and black-and-white portrayals of Muslim societies (Persepolis, R The untruths begin with the cover of the book, which features the image of a woman who is dressed in a manner which is decidedly not Iranian. So, even before you have read a single word, you have been given an image that is not authentic. The book is carefully packaged to cater to the American people's fears and prejudices. Also, the book isn't an isolated phenomenon. It's a product of a veritable cottage industry of horror stories and black-and-white portrayals of Muslim societies (Persepolis, Reading Lolita in Tehran, etc.). Take Norma Khoury's "autobiographical" book, "Honor Lost: Love and Death in Modern-Day Jordan," which purports to be a first-hand account by an Arab woman. Turns out the author wasn't even in Jordan; it's a complete fabrication. (Google Norma Khoury.) Why would anybody fabricate (or, in the case of Not Without My Daughter, embellish) such horror stories? Because there's a market for it. These books wouldn't sell as well otherwise. If one of countless Muslim women who live fulfilling lives of achievement wrote a story in which religious Muslims didn't come across as demons, it would be simply discounted as propaganda; there would be no market for it. Only that which is considered true that conforms to the prejudices and stereotypes.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Denise

    I have read this book twice and it is my all-time favorite book. I first watched the movie - one of those you catch by chance on a rainy day. I thought it was good. Then one day I saw the book and could not put it down! I could not believe some of the things I was reading. I was in shock! This was probably around 1999/2000. The second time I read the book, probably around 2003/2004,I was reading it as an Iranian man's wife. I still loved the book and this time I knew a whole lot more about the cu I have read this book twice and it is my all-time favorite book. I first watched the movie - one of those you catch by chance on a rainy day. I thought it was good. Then one day I saw the book and could not put it down! I could not believe some of the things I was reading. I was in shock! This was probably around 1999/2000. The second time I read the book, probably around 2003/2004,I was reading it as an Iranian man's wife. I still loved the book and this time I knew a whole lot more about the culture. There are many things the author wrote about that are very typical of Iranian behavior, things that I have grown to love about the culture (the best food, the love of tea, the strong family unit, the way they seem like they're arguing when they're talking). My husband agreed that for the most part, it did represent the culture accurately. (Except for the uncleanliness part - my husband's family are all very clean, almost afraid of germs.) With this book you have to keep in mind the time in which it takes place. It's a time of turmoil and war. Things were chaotic. It was also written before things like the Internet. We all know Iran has its problems. You can't base a whole culture on one crazy family. Remember also, the people are just like us, but it's their government that has the guns and unfortunately, the fanatical people run the government. Sorry for such a long review, but I had a lot to say. Read the book, it's great!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Gary

    A brilliant expose of the horrors of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Betty Mahmoudy recounts her experiences as a captive , with her daughter Mahtob, of her increasingly violent husband who keeps her a prisoner to stop her leaving the Islamic Republic. She is horrified by the unhygienic conditions of Iran and the total misogynistic lack of rights of women, and the violent anti-American propaganda fed to the population She refuses offers to get out of this vile country unless she can take her daught A brilliant expose of the horrors of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Betty Mahmoudy recounts her experiences as a captive , with her daughter Mahtob, of her increasingly violent husband who keeps her a prisoner to stop her leaving the Islamic Republic. She is horrified by the unhygienic conditions of Iran and the total misogynistic lack of rights of women, and the violent anti-American propaganda fed to the population She refuses offers to get out of this vile country unless she can take her daughter with her. A brilliant graphic expose of this tyranny. Captures everything as if on camera. What disgusts me is how leftwing feminists demonize people who challenge Islam's oppression of women, proefering to side with the Islamists just because they are anti-Western and anti-Israel. Would they want to live under these horrors and oppression?

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dem

    A moving and inspiring story of of one woman’s courage and determination to get her and her daughter to safety and escape from an abusive and tyrannical Iranian husband and father. When Dr Moody takes his wife and five year old daughter Mahtob to Iran ostensibly on a two week vacation and then takes their passports and forces them to stay as he decides they will not return to America ever. This is the terrifying account of their ordeal and escape to safety. I read this book when it was first re A moving and inspiring story of of one woman’s courage and determination to get her and her daughter to safety and escape from an abusive and tyrannical Iranian husband and father. When Dr Moody takes his wife and five year old daughter Mahtob to Iran ostensibly on a two week vacation and then takes their passports and forces them to stay as he decides they will not return to America ever. This is the terrifying account of their ordeal and escape to safety. I read this book when it was first released back in 2004 and only when re-arranging a friend’s bookshelves did we comes across this book and decided to give it a re-read, we both were shocked and affected by the story when we read this book years ago but our memory was foggy on the details and felt a re-read was due in order to discuss this one together. It’s still as shocking today as it was all those years ago, and while the story reads like a thriller and I found myself rooting for Betty and her daughter you have to remind yourself that this nightmare was Betty’s reality at the time and certainly no thriller for her. This is Betty’s Mahmoody’s account and its a terrifying account and ordeal for any woman and child to have gone through. On my second reading I couldn’t help wondering how damaging a book like this is/was to Iranian society. Of course you cannot tar a country and its people with the one brush but I am sure this caused quite a stir at the time. I am really looking forward to the discussion on this one with my friend and while I enjoyed the read I did find this one was a little long but this might be more the fact that it was a re-read. An interesting and very readable book which would make an excellent bookclub choice.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    I can't believe people are still reading this book! I read it years ago when it first came out and had a difficult time putting it down. Not because it is great literature, or because it is an intelligent, thought-provoking book about a culture few Americans take the time to learn about, but because William Hoffer is capable of writing a light, fast-paced, adventurous story. I felt Betty Mahmoody acted very irresponsibly. She endangered her child by staying with a mentally unstable man, not to m I can't believe people are still reading this book! I read it years ago when it first came out and had a difficult time putting it down. Not because it is great literature, or because it is an intelligent, thought-provoking book about a culture few Americans take the time to learn about, but because William Hoffer is capable of writing a light, fast-paced, adventurous story. I felt Betty Mahmoody acted very irresponsibly. She endangered her child by staying with a mentally unstable man, not to mention visiting a country she knows absolutely nothing about. I have known and worked with several Iranians who are nothing at all like the characters portrayed in this book. Reading this dreck only serves to promote ignorance and ill-will towards a fascinating people. Burn this book and read something intelligent!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jafar

    You can argue about how negative and stereotyping this book is, how it helped to reinforce generalized preconceptions about the Iranians, how it didn’t help to provide a better and more accurate picture of the Iranian society to the an already-hostile American public, how it was used by a sector of the American public and media who would happily jump on anything like this, how it was used by both sides as a political propaganda tool, etc. I read this book not long after I left Iran. I don’t reme You can argue about how negative and stereotyping this book is, how it helped to reinforce generalized preconceptions about the Iranians, how it didn’t help to provide a better and more accurate picture of the Iranian society to the an already-hostile American public, how it was used by a sector of the American public and media who would happily jump on anything like this, how it was used by both sides as a political propaganda tool, etc. I read this book not long after I left Iran. I don’t remember all the details, but let me tell you this. There was not a single thing in the book that I could point my finger at and say: this can’t be true. It is entirely plausible that everything that Betty is recounting is true, depending on her husband’s social-economic-cultural-religious background. There were parts in the book that made me go: this ain’t so bad, sweetheart; I’ve seen worse. Oh, and it’s not all that rare to find people like Betty’s in-laws in Iran. Those Iranians who scream in a visceral reaction that this book is a bunch of lies are a) worried about the consequences of others generalizing this book to every Iranian; b) more personally, they think this book will make them look bad; c) jingoistic “Persians” who have a very high opinion of their homeland and take too much pride in the motherland (but call themselves Persian to hide that they’re Iranian); d) were born and/or raised outside the country and have no clue about how the Iranian society in its entirety is; e) know this book can be true, but don’t like a non-Iranian waving their country’s dirty laundry in front of the whole world; f) etc. Some points are valid, but they still don’t make this book a bunch of lies.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Idarah

    My parents' divorce wasn’t the most amicable one out there, although you wouldn’t know it because they’re pretty good friends now. At the time, my dad was living and working in Mexico as a surgeon, which meant that every other weekend found my brother and I listlessly cooped up in my dad’s clinic in Zaragoza, a very poor community on the outskirts of Juarez. People made their homes out of cinder blocks, durable cardboard, and any other supplies they could find. It was like night and day compared My parents' divorce wasn’t the most amicable one out there, although you wouldn’t know it because they’re pretty good friends now. At the time, my dad was living and working in Mexico as a surgeon, which meant that every other weekend found my brother and I listlessly cooped up in my dad’s clinic in Zaragoza, a very poor community on the outskirts of Juarez. People made their homes out of cinder blocks, durable cardboard, and any other supplies they could find. It was like night and day compared to where we lived. My dad’s common law wife would take charge of our weekends when my dad was working (which was most of the time), by zipping us all around Juarez—any basic American excursion like grocery shopping, grabbing a pizza, going to the movies or park, was so different, but nonetheless fun. Intermingled with that fun was the real fear that my dad wouldn’t take us back home. He had intimated as much to my mom during heated arguments before and after the divorce. It was a scary time to be a six-year-old, so my mom taught us how to memorize landmarks and phone numbers, even directions on how to get back to the international bridge, and what to tell authorities if my dad ever got a fit of the crazies. It never came to that, thank goodness, but films like Not Without My Daughter fascinated my grandparents, mom, brother and I. We could seriously relate to the fear of being trapped in another country against your will. That being said, last weekend I got an itch to arm chair travel to the Middle East, but couldn’t for the life of me find my copy of The Kite Runner, a book I’ve been avoiding since its publication. Upset but still wanting to read about a foreign experience, I picked up the book Not Without My Daughter, and didn’t put it down until I’d read the last page of the epilogue. Even if you’ve seen the movie, the book really is another experience! It was so amazing to get into Betty Mahmoody’s mind, to read about her fears and doubts, which she had to keep to herself, in order to buoy up her daughter, Mahtob. Although Alfred Molina plays the role of Betty’s abusive Iranian husband well in the film, reading this book really made me realize just how far gone her husband was in real life. Although a super intelligent and gifted doctor, he was a raving, abusive madman—an equally cunning adversary. Most of the critical reviews of this book claim that Mahmoody is racist, intolerant of Islamic culture, and a liar. Reading certain passages, I can see why some would say that. However, just based on my own experiences, it’s practically impossible to take in another culture without relating it to your own, or what you know. As a Mexican American, there are a lot of things about Mexico that were/are foreign to me, even unattractive. I don’t think that means that I am racist. It’s just a different way of life that for me, took some getting used to. Culture shock within my culture, if you will. At any rate, I loved that Betty took the time to explain Muslim holidays and customs, foods and their preparations, rules of etiquette, and even bureaucratic governmental policies. I felt like I too was scuttling along the streets of Northern Tehran. How she finally escapes, and the sympathetic friends she meets along the way will make your heart soar. What a truly inspirational memoir!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Negin

    I’d like to first point out that I was born in Iran and spent the first six years of my life there. We visited frequently until shortly after all the troubles started. I’ve never been back and I can’t possibly imagine doing so. I’d rather keep the sweet memories that I had and not tarnish them with negative ones that I so often hear about. When the movie, “Not Without My Daughter” came out back in 1991, I remember hearing that many of my fellow countrymen boycotted it. They resented the fact tha I’d like to first point out that I was born in Iran and spent the first six years of my life there. We visited frequently until shortly after all the troubles started. I’ve never been back and I can’t possibly imagine doing so. I’d rather keep the sweet memories that I had and not tarnish them with negative ones that I so often hear about. When the movie, “Not Without My Daughter” came out back in 1991, I remember hearing that many of my fellow countrymen boycotted it. They resented the fact that Iranians were portrayed negatively. My cousin was one of them and he and I got into a bit of a heated discussion about this. My point, and one that I still adhere to, was that this was Betty Mahmoody’s experience and she should feel free to share it. Personally, I thought that the movie was wonderful and it brought out all sorts of emotions in me. Mind you, I only saw the movie that one time and it was enough. My memory is now a bit jaded, but I’m quite sure that the book is far better and can do more justice, as is usually the case. I wasn’t even sure if I should bother reading this, but then I found a used copy at our monthly book swap and decided to read it after all. I’m delighted that I did. It was compelling and I could hardly put it down, except when it got to be too painful at times and I needed an emotional break. I would like to mention that I have never met any Iranians that are anything like Betty’s former in-laws, but doesn’t mean that they’re not out there. The family was a crazy one to say the least: extreme, fanatical, superstitious, and never mind disgusting with their hygiene (but let’s not go there!). Her husband was an absolute tyrant and her life had become a living hell. Not all Iranians were shown in a negative light. There were some incredible kind-hearted individuals also, those who helped and befriended Betty in whatever way they could. Those parts made me cry. I think it’s quite short-sighted for anyone to delude themselves into thinking that she portrays all Iranians as bad people. She most certainly does not. She didn’t even portray Islam in a negatively. Yes, she has a problem with extremism and fanaticism and which reasonable-minded person wouldn’t? But the reader soon sees that it’s not Islam that she has a problem with, more so the way it was enforced in that oppressive regime. Betty’s courage and bravery are to be admired and left me full of awe. I simply cannot imagine having that sort of strength. I’ve known friends and family members who’ve escaped the country much the same way that she did. None of them were escaping a brutal husband. Most did not have a young child to worry about. Finally, every single one of them spoke Farsi. The ones that I have known escaped due to religious or political persecution. I’m not trying to minimize their struggles, just saying that hers was quite unique and had its challenges also. All in all, this book was an incredible read. I’m really looking forward to reading the sequel. I like Betty so much, that I wish I knew her personally. I just saw on amazon that her daughter, Mahtob, has a book coming out soon.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Chick_Flick

    The undertone of racism permeated this book. It was very hard to get through because of this. While at times I did feel for the situation the author was in, it was hard to sympathize with her on other occasions because she just seemed so judgmental. I understand she was angry and frustrated and had been through a lot; it probably would have been a better book had she given it some space for perspective. The story is no doubt interesting, but it could have been written better.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Haden

    If you have picked this book up in hopes that it will give you insight about Iran, put it right back down. Not Without My Daughter is one woman's experience that has been treated like an ethnography of Iranian and Persian culture, and it should never be treated as such. Betty Mahmoody's account of her time in Iran is not only full of gross factual inaccuracies but also blatant racism and xenophobia that made the reading experience hard to stomach. To put it in perspective, Mahmoody co-wrote the If you have picked this book up in hopes that it will give you insight about Iran, put it right back down. Not Without My Daughter is one woman's experience that has been treated like an ethnography of Iranian and Persian culture, and it should never be treated as such. Betty Mahmoody's account of her time in Iran is not only full of gross factual inaccuracies but also blatant racism and xenophobia that made the reading experience hard to stomach. To put it in perspective, Mahmoody co-wrote the book with William Hoffer who wrote Midnight Express, a novel that also happens to be racist and xenophobic against Turkey. Mahmoody later admitted that this was a determining factor in her choice of co-authors because she wanted to get back at the whole of Iranian people what her husband and his family--one small group of people among millions!--did to her. We must be aware that we are listening to an American woman tell us about a foreign culture based off eighteen months of experience instead of paying attention to the many who have lived and breathed this culture every day for their entire lives. If that weren't reason enough, Mahmoody had a proven agenda in writing this book with Hoffer, and the fact that it was published in the United States so soon after the hostage crisis, when public opinion was already so turned against Iran, also points to a monetary agenda as well as a political one. Please put this disgusting excuse for a book down if you want to learn about Iran. Read an Iranian novel in translation. Read any number of the books written by Farzaneh Milani. But for the love of all that is good, do not read what Betty Mahmoody is trying to sell you. On an anticlimactic last note, it's not well-written at all, grossness aside. How many times can you use rhetorical questions as a tool for "suspense" before we want to rip the question mark off your keyboard?

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ella

    4.25 Holy moly this was intense. I couldn't put it down at all despite knowing the outcome. Betty Mahmoody planned to go to Iran with her family for 2 weeks but her daughter and her get kidnapped by her husband and his family. In Iran they are his property and he can do whatever he wants to them (beat, rape, keep them locked up, etc.) This book was absolutely brutal and it horrified me to know this kind of stuff still happens today. While I was reading it I couldn't help but thinking how lucky I a 4.25 Holy moly this was intense. I couldn't put it down at all despite knowing the outcome. Betty Mahmoody planned to go to Iran with her family for 2 weeks but her daughter and her get kidnapped by her husband and his family. In Iran they are his property and he can do whatever he wants to them (beat, rape, keep them locked up, etc.) This book was absolutely brutal and it horrified me to know this kind of stuff still happens today. While I was reading it I couldn't help but thinking how lucky I am I was born in Europe. My heart breaks for every single child and woman who is abused every day, kept in a cage and ordered to fit in in a suffocating society. I don't know what I would have done in her situation, but I am so happy she managed to get out and write this book. Not only for herself but for everyone who has ever been in this situation. Highly recommend.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    Having seen the movie, I thought I knew what to expect here, but was I ever wrong! This frightening story of being held captive in a hostile country by a loving husband....turned monster and liar....is much worse that the movie in many respects...the unsanitary living conditions, holes in the floor for toilets, and sexual abuse by taxi drivers to name a few, but the worst, by far, is that brutality is the "accepted" treatment of women and children.....shocking and despicable.I have no idea if th Having seen the movie, I thought I knew what to expect here, but was I ever wrong! This frightening story of being held captive in a hostile country by a loving husband....turned monster and liar....is much worse that the movie in many respects...the unsanitary living conditions, holes in the floor for toilets, and sexual abuse by taxi drivers to name a few, but the worst, by far, is that brutality is the "accepted" treatment of women and children.....shocking and despicable.I have no idea if these accounts are 100% factual as some reviewers refute, but the descriptive world in which this story is told makes for an intense and unsettling read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nicola

    I was gripped by this story I couldn’t put it down . It will be interesting to read her husband and daughters take on things to fully understand the story from all points of view.

  15. 5 out of 5

    A'ishah Al-Tamimi

    im just going to rehash what other people have said but it is true. firstly the cover is of a arab woman not persian/iranian. iranian women wear long headscarves called iranian chadors (the afghan version is different) which shows all of their face. they do not veil like saudi yemeni and gulf women do. but to americans, the picture of a women in a headscarve is just not "frightening" enough to sell to its stupid sheep audience, so they use the veil cause it looks exotic and foriegn. secondly she im just going to rehash what other people have said but it is true. firstly the cover is of a arab woman not persian/iranian. iranian women wear long headscarves called iranian chadors (the afghan version is different) which shows all of their face. they do not veil like saudi yemeni and gulf women do. but to americans, the picture of a women in a headscarve is just not "frightening" enough to sell to its stupid sheep audience, so they use the veil cause it looks exotic and foriegn. secondly she potrays her husband as a brute. im sick of these western women authors writing about arab, persian and pakistani men who take them back to their country and abuse them. its like one of those old 1920 american movies were the blonde, white christian/western women gets kidnapped by some exotic other. it plays on the same xenophobic fantasy to sell.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Stacy

    Wow, that was scary. I do sympathize with her. She lived a total nightmare. This book should be on the mandatory reading list of anyone thinking of going to the Middle East.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sandy Batesel

    For me this whole book rang untrue. I know I'm probably going to get a huge backlash for saying that but I just could not empathize with the author. There is no doubt that women are treated differently in Muslim countries and with them I do empathize. However, Ms. Mahmoody had misgivings about taking her daughter to visit Iran before she went ... misgivings to the point that she made an appointment with an attorney. Yet she took her daughter and went anyway. She handed over her passport to her h For me this whole book rang untrue. I know I'm probably going to get a huge backlash for saying that but I just could not empathize with the author. There is no doubt that women are treated differently in Muslim countries and with them I do empathize. However, Ms. Mahmoody had misgivings about taking her daughter to visit Iran before she went ... misgivings to the point that she made an appointment with an attorney. Yet she took her daughter and went anyway. She handed over her passport to her husband when they landed in Iran, again, even though she had misgivings about it. The entire book is just one big complaint by Ms. Mahmoody. During their escape several people put themselves in harms way, possibly even in a position where they could be killed for helping Ms. Mahmoody and her daughter, but she doesn't express very much appreciation for it. She does, however, complain that every single household who helped them along the way served her "rancid" cheese that she couldn't even eat. I think Ms. Mahmoody did go through an ordeal in Iran. I also think, though, that she put herself in the position she was in. Not only did she put herself and her daughter in this position but then she spent every year since then manipulating her daughter against her father!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kelly H. (Maybedog)

    I'd like to give this book 2.5 stars but alas... I found the book interesting but it was sensationalistic and extremely culturally biased. The premise is horrific and I can completely understand her hatred and fear. However, nothing is black and white and just because the way women are treated is abominable doesn't mean that everything in the culture is bad and everything the people do is wrong and horrible. The one scene that sticks out in my mind is that she spends hours every day picking tiny I'd like to give this book 2.5 stars but alas... I found the book interesting but it was sensationalistic and extremely culturally biased. The premise is horrific and I can completely understand her hatred and fear. However, nothing is black and white and just because the way women are treated is abominable doesn't mean that everything in the culture is bad and everything the people do is wrong and horrible. The one scene that sticks out in my mind is that she spends hours every day picking tiny bugs out of the grain. Most of the women don't bother, they just cook and eat the grain with the bugs in it. She is horrified and repulsed and uses this as proof that they're monsters. Sure, as Americans we don't eat a lot of bugs voluntarily. We're grossed out by the concept. But lots of cultures eat bugs and if they're not harmful, who are we to judge? They probably have protein. Plus, who wants to spend hours every day picking bugs out of grain? I read this a long time ago so that's the only example I can remember off hand but I think it's important that we evaluate each piece of a society on its own merits and not just vilify the entire thing simply because we don't like part of it. I think this is particularly important nowadays with a huge portion of the world trying to kill us because of *our* way of life.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    ATTENTION: I don't know why this is so, but most who have read this book are unaware that it has a sequel: For the Love of a Child. Find out what happened to Betty and her daughter, Mahtob, after they escaped to America, while also learning about the heartbreaking phenomenon of international child abduction. It's magnificent. Please read it. Not Without My Daughter is an astounding memoir that underscores just how little power women have in Iran. It's hard to believe Betty Mahmoody and her daugh ATTENTION: I don't know why this is so, but most who have read this book are unaware that it has a sequel: For the Love of a Child. Find out what happened to Betty and her daughter, Mahtob, after they escaped to America, while also learning about the heartbreaking phenomenon of international child abduction. It's magnificent. Please read it. Not Without My Daughter is an astounding memoir that underscores just how little power women have in Iran. It's hard to believe Betty Mahmoody and her daughter survived their ordeal, but with Mahmoody's fierce persistence, they did. It was a harrowing escape, and I was captivated during this part especially. A movie version* starring Sally Field and Alfred Molina was in theaters in January 1991 and is fantastic but pales in comparison to its thrilling, emotional source material. *https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Not_Wit...

  20. 5 out of 5

    Alicia Krauchuk Fenton

    I remember meeting Betty and her daughter, Mahtob, when I was back in (I want to say High School)...does anyone else remember that meeting (my HS goodreaders?) Anyhow...I think this was my first introduction to the middle east and what it was like to be a woman in their culture. I enjoyed the book, I was grateful for her courage, and I'm wondering where they are today. I'll Google to find out. :-)

  21. 4 out of 5

    Charise

    I was a little put off by the way the author categorized everything Iranian as "bad" and everything American as "good."

  22. 4 out of 5

    İntellecta

    "It is bad enough, I find even worse, if personal destiny is used to defame a whole country."

  23. 4 out of 5

    Olivia

    I've read this maybe 20 years ago, when I was a teenager. Based on my gut, I'd give it 4 stars. Because to this day I remember the book, and I remember how terrified I felt reading it. It left an impression. It's had an impact. However, I've seen issues raised concerning racism etc. which makes me not want to re-read it, and I decided to not give it a rating.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Such a harrowing story! After years of marriage and a beautiful child together, Betty agrees to travel with her husband to Iran to visit his family. There he becomes a completely different person, and refuses to let her and their daughter leave. At one point she is literally held prisoner by her husband, and her journey out of Iran with her daughter actually turned her hair gray. This isn't completely a catalog of how awful Iran is, though. She gives its beauties their due, and also details meet Such a harrowing story! After years of marriage and a beautiful child together, Betty agrees to travel with her husband to Iran to visit his family. There he becomes a completely different person, and refuses to let her and their daughter leave. At one point she is literally held prisoner by her husband, and her journey out of Iran with her daughter actually turned her hair gray. This isn't completely a catalog of how awful Iran is, though. She gives its beauties their due, and also details meetings with kind and compassionate people. She made many friends, and even among her in-laws there were those who were sympathetic to her plight. Many of her husband's relatives were actually shocked and scolded him for his treatment of her and their daughter, including his own mother. An engrossing book. I was also fascinated by the follow-up, For Love of a Child, where she tells some of the stories of people who contacted her after her story was made public. She also details, in the follow up, what it was like to come back to America and try to put her life back together. She had lost fifty pounds, her hair had turned gray, and her mother and older children didn't recognize her at the airport. She and her children now live under false identities, and have also learned that some of her in-laws left Iran permanently, because they were so appalled at what happened to her.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Arushi

    People are divided in opinion about the veracity of the story. As for me, it does not really matter. The story is believable and could be true. The negatives pointed out could be true - Not for a whole country, only individual elements here and there. Betty herself has acknowledged in the book that 'you cannot categorize a person by nationality'(pg 415). She couldn't even have survived and escaped if all the Iran countrymen were bad. So, the rebukes on her supposed Iran bashing are actually inva People are divided in opinion about the veracity of the story. As for me, it does not really matter. The story is believable and could be true. The negatives pointed out could be true - Not for a whole country, only individual elements here and there. Betty herself has acknowledged in the book that 'you cannot categorize a person by nationality'(pg 415). She couldn't even have survived and escaped if all the Iran countrymen were bad. So, the rebukes on her supposed Iran bashing are actually invalid. She is merely recounting an experience where a group of people did not treat her well, and she is not generalizing it. Anyone reading the book could make out that in places where she calls Moody's family 'Iranians', it is merely due to the sheer number of relatives gathered. Also, a point noted by my fellow readers is that the time this book was written was a totally different time. So, do not compare it with the present. In the beginning it did feel like a woman whining, but that lasted only for the first 2-3 chapters. The fear of a mother for her daughter's safety was real, and the most of the cultural differences pointed out seemed true also. A little partiality in views is allowable as each person has a different view and this is a True story. So, of course she is recounting what is true to her. Oh! But yes, of course as there was another person involved in the writing - Betty merely recounted and William wrote - it is totally possible there were some trimmings to make the story more interesting. My advice- take it with a pinch of salt. Do not get emotionally entangled with it. Because there's no way you could ascertain how much of it is true. There is only one point to be learnt from the book that we already know - Cultural differences exist and are important to consider when you decide to marry someone

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jenni Boyd

    I had no idea this book was such a controversial read until reading some of the reviews, some believe the story has racist undertones, and then there are some who say the story is nothing but a fabrication of a vengeful wife. These are my thoughts of what I felt when I read this book. The story begins with Betty’s sense of panic as she sits in a plane thousands of feet above sea level, suddenly feeling she’d made a terrible mistake. Wondering why she'd agreed to come to Iran, when her own country I had no idea this book was such a controversial read until reading some of the reviews, some believe the story has racist undertones, and then there are some who say the story is nothing but a fabrication of a vengeful wife. These are my thoughts of what I felt when I read this book. The story begins with Betty’s sense of panic as she sits in a plane thousands of feet above sea level, suddenly feeling she’d made a terrible mistake. Wondering why she'd agreed to come to Iran, when her own country was at war with Iraq. Betty reflects back on all the arguments she had with her husband Moody about making this trip with their four-year-old daughter, and how he finally wore her down. She can’t seem to rid herself of the niggling thoughts that she will not be coming back to her homeland after two weeks as her husband promised. When he asks for her to hand over both hers and their daughter’s passports to him, her sense of panic rises to the point she wants to step off the plane mid-air. Their arrival in Iran was a shock to both Betty and Mahtob, with so many people talking in a language they did not understand, and then meeting her in-laws for the first time. The initial friendly introduction with Betty’s sister-in-law soon became obvious, neither liked each other. Betty found fault with her sister-in-law’s house and hygiene, while the other found fault with Betty’s dress and lack of understanding of their customs. Without making this a long and lengthy review and giving out spoilers, I found the main focus of the story was Betty and her daughter’s wish to go home. The abuse Betty suffered at the hands of her husband, and his constant swing from sane to insanity. Many times Betty had the chance to leave the country alone, but she would not leave without her daughter. Despite her husband’s quest to break her spirit, she never gave up hope. As the story crescendoed to a nail biting end, I found the book hard to put down. I did not see this story as a slight against another nationality, but more Betty's struggle with a different custom and culture. Many times she mentions the kindness of perfect strangers who help her keep a grasp on her sanity. These people are mentioned in the acknowledgements in the back of the book. I felt this was a story about domestic violence, and a woman’s determination to escape the abuse not just for herself, but also for her daughter. Betty wanted Mahtob to grow up in an environment of love and kindness, not one of fear.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca McNutt

    The true story of a woman held hostage in Iran by her brutal husband, Not Without My Daughter is an extraordinary story of power. Betty's husband has power over her, but it's her love for her daughter and the help of some Iranian citizens who assist er in escaping, that power her to find freedom again.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Dennis

    Reading this account was like watching a Lifetime Television for Women movie. (Sally Field, wasn't it?) The story is told exclusively from Betty Mahmoody's perspective and seems to skew heavily towards her particular biases. On several occasions I felt myself rolling my eyes and wishing someone would help Betty snap out of it because her storytelling frequently devolves into whininess. At the same time, it would be difficult to overestimate the fear, whether rational and justified or not, that a Reading this account was like watching a Lifetime Television for Women movie. (Sally Field, wasn't it?) The story is told exclusively from Betty Mahmoody's perspective and seems to skew heavily towards her particular biases. On several occasions I felt myself rolling my eyes and wishing someone would help Betty snap out of it because her storytelling frequently devolves into whininess. At the same time, it would be difficult to overestimate the fear, whether rational and justified or not, that a mother could feel at finding herself trapped in a foreign country and culture where she has no escape and fears for her safety and the safety of her child. That fear is what emerges clearly throughout the story and rings true as it unfolds. I found myself enjoying details about Iranian life and culture while observing to measure the negativity with a grain of salt. No culture is without its pluses or minuses when examined objectively, and it would be an error to form a view of Iranians without attempting first to understand the historical and political background contributing to the environment in Iran during the 1970s and 80s. Without a doubt I felt the relief when Betty and Mahtoub at last reach Turkey and then return to reside in America. And I certainly feel a deeper gratitude for my home country and the freedoms we value here.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    I know there was cheesy movie made about this book, but the real story is absolutely incredible. It was facinating to learn about the way of life in Iran, and especially about how women are treated. I was amazed by this woman's perseverence and bravery. You'll be inspired!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Zaineb

    Although the suspense and drama didn't let me put this book down until I finished it, I am afraid that people pick this book up as a true portrayal of the Iranian culture, which is very dangerous. Throughout every page I could feel hate, prejudice, and racism toward Iranians and muslims. She generalized all negative things and made them look as if they were the norm in Iran which is not. She portrayed them as dirty, lacking social taste, very religious, disrespecting their women... etc. If that Although the suspense and drama didn't let me put this book down until I finished it, I am afraid that people pick this book up as a true portrayal of the Iranian culture, which is very dangerous. Throughout every page I could feel hate, prejudice, and racism toward Iranians and muslims. She generalized all negative things and made them look as if they were the norm in Iran which is not. She portrayed them as dirty, lacking social taste, very religious, disrespecting their women... etc. If that is true for some Iranians, certainty it should not to be generalized for all the nation. Even the cover photo is not accurate. While burqa (shows only women's eyes) is very popular in Saudi Arabia and Yemen, Iranian women don't wear burqa.

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