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Not Without My Daughter Paperback – July 1, 2004

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Transworld Publishers (July 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552152161
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552152167
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (337 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #480,589 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.


"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

Customer Reviews

I saw the movie and wanted to read the book.
Faith Y. Everling
This, and other details she mentioned in the book didn't seem to be so true.
Betty Mahmoody is very courageous for telling her story.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

126 of 137 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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89 of 103 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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36 of 42 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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43 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Galloway Grumblefield on October 7, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
First, the book was not necessarily well written, but then, this kind of book doesn't have to be well written to get its point across.
Biased, yes, but understandably so. Many of the reviews that follow claim that Betty Mahmoudi has presented a one-sided, bigoted, prejudiced, etc., etc., view of life in Iran (in 1984). But, here are some facts those reviews ignore:
1) Betty wanted to GET OUT OF IRAN! If Iran is so great, why didn't she want to stay? I also notice that most, if not all, of the people who are criticizing the objectiveness of this book are Iranians who are not living in Iran (they are Iranians living in Canada or in the UK - go figure)!
2) Betty's desperation to get out of Iran is the only justification she needs to do whatever it takes, legal or otherwise, to accomplish her objective. If she had the support and cooperation of a loving Iranian host/family, then she would not have needed to resort to smugglers.
3) Whether or not Dr. Mahmoudi made Betty stay in doors because Iran it is dangerous for a woman to walk the city streets of Iran or because he was afraid that Betty would try to escape, it doesn't matter. Both scenarios are bad.
4) Criticisms about this story (and I understand much of it may be exaggerated, but this is Betty's story and not yours, my friend) are mostly coming from the lucky people who are not actually living the horror that Betty had to go through.
Is this story biased? Yes! Is that bias understandable? Yes! Is Betty a somewhat culturally ignorant bumpkin? Yes. You can put any kind of positive spin you want on life in Iran, but the bottom line is that many more people are trying to get out of Iran than are trying to get into Iran.
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