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Not Without My Daughter Mass Market Paperback – Feb 15 1991

3.6 out of 5 stars 154 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks; 2 edition (Feb. 15 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312925883
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312925888
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 3 x 17.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 358 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars 154 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #67,958 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Library Journal

Betty Lover met the perfect "dark stranger" in a Michigan hospital. Her Iranian therapist, Dr. Sayyed Bozorg Mahmoody, became her husband and the father of their daughter, Mahtob. Despite the vicissitudes of the Iran-U.S. hostage crisis, Betty and he flourished until their summer "vacation" in Iran in 1984. The next year and a half were a nightmare. Betty and Mahtob, held hostage by Mahmoody and his family, were subjected to Islamic fundamentalism, Persian nationalistic fanaticism, and a life of squalor. This compelling tale of their terror and escape from Iran is recommended for most libraries. Literary Guild alternate. David P. Snider, Casa Grande P.L., Ariz .
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


“Spellbinding!” ―Cleveland Plain Dealer

“Readers will cheer...good adventure with a happy ending.” ―Washington Post Book World

“Intense...compelling reading.” ―Detroit Free Press

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My daughter dozed in her seat next to the window of a British Airways jetliner, her red-brown curls encircling her face, tumbling haphazardly below her shoulders. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Not Without My Daughter is the true story/biography of Betty Mahmoody, who accompanies her husband on a supposed two-week vacation to his native homeland, Iran, along with their daughter. Betty is well aware of the fact that once in Iran, she has nearly no rights, contrary to that of an American woman. As a woman, and especially an American she is looked down upon by others. A
This book, while coming under heavy criticism for it's portrayal of the Iranian lifestyle and customs is still quite a good read. The book is somewhat suspenseful, always with plot twists and intricate detail. The detail is so intricate, in fact, that I read it over and over.
However, many events in the book are supposed to be exaagerated. I do not believe this, because the book is taking place during a time period in which Iran is embroiled in a bitter war with Iraq, which changes every single circumstance in the perspective of a reader.
Not Without My Daughter is almost like a survival story, because Betty makes choices and she vows to escape with her daughter several times in the story. The mother-daughter bond is a constant theme in this story as children belong to the father in Iran and no one can simply identify with Betty's maternal instinct.
Despite the fact that people think it is over-exxagerated, it really is not. However, times have changed, and the book can not be put in any time period and work with the reader. Reading this book will give you an insight into what it is like in third-world countries like Iran, coupled with a mother and child's desperate desire for freedom. A compelling, yet disturbing book, Not Without My Daughter is an interesting, motivational, and overall dramatic book for someone looking to be deeply sensitized in an adventure.
P.S. - The book is definetely more in-depth and more detailed than the made for TV movie, starring Sally Field, produced by Pathe Entertainment, and released in 1991.
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By A Customer on July 27 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book details the frightening journey of Betty Mahmoody and her daughter, Mahtob. Betty accompanied her husband on a "two week vacation" to Iran to visit his relatives. When the two weeks were up, he informed her that they were all going to stay in Iran permanently. Since Islamic women have no rights, Betty could not leave Iran or take her daughter out of that country without her husband's written permission. If she was caught trying to escape, she could be executed. To make matters worse, her husband had become physically abusive since their arrival in Iran, and she truly feared for her life. Betty openly gives details of the daily hell that was her life in Iran, and about her escape from there. I would like to make it clear that Betty did not knock ALL Iranians, because there were many people over there who helped her tremendously. One man risked his life to get her out of there, and she is eternally grateful to him.
... It gives the reader a lot to think about. I watched the movie first, and later read the book. Sally Field was terrific in the movie, and you got a real feel for the story there. My recommendation is to see the movie first, then read the book. Betty showed how strong a mother's love can be, and she is a role model for women everywhere.
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By A Customer on July 22 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ms. Mahmoody, because of a failed marriage with a man that she married because she thought he was an American (but ye gad! he turned out to be an Iranian! Well, what did she expect?) has unfortunately appointed herself as a self-proclaimed bridge between cultures, warning people about the implications of intercultural relationships. Her bias against Persian culture becomes evident in the opening of the book, in her descriptions of the airport and the home of her husband's sister. One telling scene has remained in my mind - the scene where her husband asks her to step over a sacrificed animal because it is a custom and she exclaims, "Oh, why do we have to do this stupid thing?" As I read the book (which I couldn't force myself to finish because I do not like to torture myself), it became clear to me that the mother did not want her child raised in Iran because she considers American culture to be superior to all non-Western cultures. She divides Iranians into! two categories: fanatical America-haters and Westernized, pro-America people (whom she treats with more compassion). This disregards the complexities of the Iranian peoples' relationship to the Revolution and the deep substance of their culture. Somewhere in the book, she concludes that "there is good and bad in every culture," but if she isn't going to treat Iranians (or Persians) as complex human beings in a complex culture, what is the point of this statement? I stated before that she has evidently appointed herself as a bridge between cultures, but she hasn't taken on the responsibility of portraying her husband's native land in a balanced manner.Read more ›
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Never before have I read a book that has intentionally tried so hard to offend an entire race of people. I am an American and I was embarrassed by this book. Could it be that hatred of such kind could be expressed and glorified in the 1990s? Goodness! The 21st century is just two years away! This is the story of "I had a bad marriage, I hate the ex-husband, his race, nationality, and all our problems were his country's fault." It also is a story of "there is only one culture in this world that children should be raised in, Hollywood culture, and God forbid, my American-Iranian children might learn another language." I just wish she could accept the other half of her children's heritage. She chose to marry an Iranian, but hates them with such passion. Ms. Mahmoodi, you hate half of your own children's being. You are no American hero, and your book, film, and interviews will someday be used as an example of bigotry.
I guess as long as the media is feeding on Iraniansbeing terrorists, you'll make a buck or two. But ultimately, as our history has proved, all labels turn out to be judged wrong by history. Jews are not K___, Blacks are not N____, and the Japanese are not N___, and your children do not have Terrorist blood in them. You just had a bad marriage. How well did you embrace your husband's culture? The only person your hatred hurts is your children and you.
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