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Not Without My Daughter Mass Market Paperback – February 15, 1991

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Editorial Reviews

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.


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 420 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks (February 15, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312925883
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312925888
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 1.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (354 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,650 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

136 of 147 people found the following review helpful By ritz on January 12, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I would advise you all to read her follow-up book to "Not WIthout My Daughter" called "For the Love of a Child". Betty WAS NOT LYING in any part of her book. She has proof of all her experiences and the way she escaped, namely, her stamped passport in Ankara, Turkey. Her ex-husband Moody, recently published his own side of the story is his book "Lost WIthout My Daughter" where he says Betty lied about everything, but he offers no concrete proof of this. Betty has her bus tickets, passport stamps and valid witnesses to the proof of her escape from Moody's wicked claws. More proof? Mahtob, her daughter, who is now an adult has repeatedly refused to acknowledge her father because her trust was betrayed as a child. Surely, as a grown woman, Mahtob is able to make her own decisions and her decisions stand as proof of what both she and her mother went through to get away from this madman (who has lied repeatedly). Also, this book (and the movie) was not meant as an affront to the Iranian culture. Quite the contrary, Betty goes out of her way in the book to relate the fact that it was the kind and compassionate Iranians who helped her escape from Moody's clutches. She received NO HELP from the U.S. state departments. People should remember that this is an honest depiction from HER standpoint and what SHE WENT through. She is only speaking for herself and no one else. As for Moody, well, he is obviously a bitter old man now. Perhaps he does feel loss and anguish for Mahtob, but he did bring the situation upon himself. If Mahtob refuses to have anything to do with him, it is her decision and who can blame her? It is time for people to realize that Betty's book was factual and not exaggerated in any way.
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90 of 104 people found the following review helpful By JGC on July 8, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
NOT WITHOUT MY DAUGHTER is one of the very best books that I have ever read. My only regret is that I can't give this book more than 5 stars. Betty Mahmoody is very courageous for telling her story.

This is a story about an American housewife who goes to Iran with her husband and daughter. Her husband decides to keep her in his homeland against her will. She is a virtual prisoner at the mercy of her corrupt husband. Her basic human rights were violated, rights that any ordinary person takes for granted. She finally finds help to get back home but the journey isn't easy.

This book gives a really positive message which is that there is good in people all around the world. There were many Iranians who were willing to help her no matter what the consequences were.

I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in equality and human rights. Also, on the same topic I recommend any books by Jean Sasson.
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39 of 45 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 12, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I loved this book. I have read through it a bunch of times and I always find it just as compelling. In a later review, I will get into that one more. In the meantime, I want to comment on the criticisms I see over and over. You accuse her of being biased. Let's consider some facts. Betty Mahmoody went to Iran with her daughter. That is a fact. Her husband would not let her leave. That is a fact. She was held against her will. Yes, I know she could have theoretically forced a divorce which would have gotten her deported but her daughter would have been stuck there. She was not allowed to leave freely and on her own terms simply because she was a woman. That is a fact that is written into the country's law. Criticize her if you feel you must. But just remember that she was held against her will just beacause of her gender. There is no justification for that. Please, tell me. What defense could her husband possibly have?
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Andrea K. Johnson on September 17, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm sure this book is biased, since Betty Mahmoody is writing about her own experiences as an American woman in an unfamiliar culture with a husband who by her account changed drastically in personality while they were there and became abusive and refused to allow her to leave with her child. Even if it is biased or sensational, it should be read as a tale of a culture clash and what can happen when a marriage goes bad between a western woman and an Islamic man.

Most Islamic countries will automatically give custody of a child to the father. If the mother is allowed to keep custody of a preteen girl, it will probably be only within the Islamic country, only if she doesn't remarry a non-Muslim, and only if her behavior fits with a strict Islamic code. Boys are taken away from their mothers even younger than girls. Even in the past five years there have been several stories about women whose husbands or boyfriends have taken their children to Saudi Arabia or Bahrain or Jordan or various other Islamic countries and the women couldn't get them back or mothers who have visited those countries with their children and been refused permission to leave because the father or father's family won't allow it. Women don't have the same rights to their children in Islamic countries as they do in the United States or other western countries. These kids will usually have passports from the father's country so he can travel with the kids using those passports even if an American judge has ordered that the child stay in the United States. This is the type of situation that Mahmoody ran into 25 years ago when she wanted to leave with Mahtob and it hasn't changed much.
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