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.