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Not Without My Daughter
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Not Without My Daughter

4.2 38
by Betty Mahmoody, William Hoffer

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In August 1984, Michigan housewife Betty Mahmoody accompanied her husband to his native Iran for a two-week vacation. To her horror, she found herself and her four-year-old daughter, Mahtob, virtual prisoners of a man rededicated to his Shiite Moslem faith, in a land where women are near-slaves and Americans are despised. Their only hope for escape lay in a


In August 1984, Michigan housewife Betty Mahmoody accompanied her husband to his native Iran for a two-week vacation. To her horror, she found herself and her four-year-old daughter, Mahtob, virtual prisoners of a man rededicated to his Shiite Moslem faith, in a land where women are near-slaves and Americans are despised. Their only hope for escape lay in a dangerous underground that would not take her child...

Now the true story of this courageous woman and her breathtaking odyssey bursts upon the screen in the Pathe Entertainment production starring Academy Award-winner Sally Field!

Not Without My Daughter is a Literary Guild Alternate Selection.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Spellbinding!” —Cleveland Plain Dealer

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

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

Product Details

St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
Edition description:
Media Tie
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.14(w) x 6.82(h) x 1.19(d)
Age Range:
14 - 18 Years

Meet the Author

Betty Mahmoody is an author and public speaker, best known for her book Not Without My Daughter, the basis of the film by the same name.

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Not Without My Daughter 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In Not Without My Daughter, Betty Mahmoody is able to capture so many incredible details of how she and her daughter were held hostage in Iran for a year and a half. In August 1984, Mahmoody¿s husband took her and their four-year-old daughter, Mahtob, for a two-week vacation to his native land to visit his family. Upon arrival they found their environment to be filthy and condemned, only endurable for a two-week period. To their horror, they found that he wanted to reconnect with his Muslim heritage and never bring them back. In a land where women are less than objects and Americans are despised, Mahmoody must overcome the powerful odds against her and her daughter. Betty and Mahtob face many hardships in Iran, such as the police, ongoing air attacks and illness, but Betty perseveres. After a few months of dealing with her husband¿s mood swings, violent tempers and stealing away Mahtob, Mahmoody decides it¿s time to follow her father¿s favorite catchphrase; ¿If there¿s a will, there¿s a way.¿ To her relief, she finally makes connections with some professional smugglers¿but they wouldn¿t take her daughter. Just as the book becomes cutthroat and all hope seems lost, Betty and Mahtob find a way to get out. Mahmoody shows many emotions throughout her story: love and hate, trust and betrayal, hopefulness and defeat, and they all contribute to make a great read and a fascinating outlook on what life was like for her. I feel that one of the main reasons Mahmoody decided to publish this book was to warn people that what happened to her is real and does actually happen. Perhaps she was also trying to warn off any more horrible encounters such as she had. Not Without My Daughter is an amazing story from start to finish, a great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The courage of Betty and her daughter is amazing and leaves me wondering how they are carrying on today. The novel is insightful and thought provoking, at times frightening to realize how cruel people can be. The book helps us realize how fortunate we are for the freedoms we have in America.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm glad to see so many younger people reading this book. Searching around I read reviews by some who found this book biased and some said Betty did not understand the culture. Whether she understood it or not is irrelevant. What happened to her is a severe violation of basic human rights in America. Some have said she had no respect for the laws of Iran, but where was the respect for Betty and Mahtob's rights? Betty had every right to expect to be able to return to her country and every right to take her daughter with her. While some view her escape as a kidnapping, I say good for her! She has saved her daughter from a life that would prevent her from opportunity and education. I admire Betty's strength in continuing her efforts to protect children.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm a 14 year old American and i absolutely loved this book! I think it gives good insite into the Iranian lifestyle and ahows how oppressed women really are. I reccomend this to anyone!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Having my best friend being an Iranian, my curiosity for this culture grew. Flipping the channels one day, I came across this movie, and was moved by it. I decided to read the book--which I'm not much of a book reader, but once I started, I couldn't put it down. The book is so incredible. It taught me a lot about how life is in Iran. Betty's courage was unbelievable, and brought tears in my eyes thorughout the book. She taught me to believe, and if you do, it will happen. Just like what her dad had said to her, 'Where there's a will, there's a way.'... Through this book, I feel I understand my Iranian friend a lot better, which brought us closer, sharing our cultural differences.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i felt for her. i just do not understand how can one be so unfeeling ( moody ) betty gives me the sense of being what you want, be strong and be positive. she is my role model, and given a chance i really want to meet her and give her a BIG hug. anyone ...help me..how am i to contact her?
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Love2Write More than 1 year ago
This book had me on the edge of my seat all the way through. This is a story of a courageous woman who races against time to save herself and the fate of her daughter. Stuck in a country where women have no rights and Americans are despised, she must find a way to escape, with her daughter, back to the safety of America. This is truly one of my favorite books;However, I do not recommend the movie. The book is much better!!
thebooksharer More than 1 year ago
This was my first favorite book, dont watch the movie though, its nothing to compare, the book is culturally eyeopening, heart wrenching, edge of your seat, inspirational, and OMG I cant believe this is real stories! you will never appreciate your freedom and choices as an American women as much as you will after reading this book and you will know not to ever make the mistake she did. I took this book to an inmate I was supporting at the county Jail, this book circulated through out the entire womens population, with a waiting list for who was next in line to read it! I hope to get another copy just to pass it on again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Not Without My Daughter was an amazing story not because it was enjoyable to hear the struggles that Betty had to endure, but rather the fact that she did endure them and found a way out-it was inspiring to see this woman and daughter that seemed to be completely alone and helpless in a foreign country find a way to communicate with their family back home and find people that they could trust to make plans for them to escape out of the hands of their keeper. At the beginning of the book especially, I could tell that getting on that plane was a bad idea and I wish I could have been there and told them not to get on, but instead I had to read as they fell into the trap set by her husband, hoping that it wouldn't end until they were safe again. Probably most of all though, this book made me appreciate my freedom in America. Betty went from growing up with all sorts of freedoms to being trapped in a home 1,000s of miles away with nowhere to go.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have watched the movie 'Not Without My Daughter' many times and I always feel the same way when it ends. Envisioning myself in her place and ending up doing the same things she did to get through her ordeal. This movie should not be criticized for it's protrayal of the United States or Iran but should just simply be understood as a womans true account in her eyes of her horrible situation she went through and doing what she could in attempting to save herself and her daughter. End of story. If Dr. Mahmoody wants to tell his side of the story then I would be more then happy to read it too. God Bless Betty and her daughter. I wish I knew how they were doing now. Great reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Now that the fifteen British mariners have been released from Iranian captivity and repatriated, if you're interested in forming an impression of what it's like to live among typical Persians, whose habits of personal hygiene may surprise you, revisit this book while copies remain available.
Guest More than 1 year ago
a classy read!it really makes the sayin true'..where there's a will there's a way'...very heart touchin..i'll end with what i started off....a classy and a wonderful read.!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Betty's tale is a remarkable journey upon which we all learn the power of human will. Betty has written the story based on HER experiences not those of the audience of readers. Some readers seem to be angered by her story, but it is not their story. Betty does not claim to state the opinions of all Americans or Iranians. I have known many Iranians in my life that have told of similar stories. I grew up with an Iranian family who are still very close to me today. I do not think of them as the characters in the book. We all don't like to hear something negative about our culture, but it sometimes happens. It does not mean we judge the entire culture by this book, it is ONE story not the New York Times. Let Betty speak.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I watched this movie in my sociology class and at first I didn't think it would be that interesting. After the movie was over, I couldn't believe that this woman had experienced all that struggle and lifestyle. I could only imagine how she felt when she went along with her husband trusting him and then he betrayed he and turned violent and controlling towards her. It really is an inspirational movie, I can't even imagine all the intricate details that also went on that the movie did not illustrate. It really does seem that she has been to hell and back and made it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Betty married the Americanized Dr. Sayyed Bozorg Mahmoody in 1997.Betty and her daughter went to see Moody Family and became virtual hostages of her husband and His family. After a year a man guide them across the mountain Range that forms border between Iran and Turkey. They Escaped and began a long journey to Michigan. They Had to go through things moms and daughters never went Through. Betty and her daughter anxiously awaited the end Of their vacation in this hostile land, but the never came. Moody had others plans for his family . Betty and Mahtob Became virtual hostages of Betty's tyrannical husband and His often viclous family. Hiding her secrets meetings from her husband and His large network of spies, a desperate Betty began to plan her Esape, but every option involved leaving Mahtob behind, Abanding her to Moody and a life of her slavery and degrada- Tion. After a harsh and terrifying year Betty discovered A ray of hope a man would guide them across the mountain Range that forms the border between Iran and Turkey .One Dark night, Betty and Mahtob escaped and began the long Journey home to Michigan, but first they had o survive a cross- Ing that few women or children had ever made.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Loved 'Not without my Daughter' and felt so sorry that Betty had such a struggle to get out of Iran with her daughter! Makes one think about the treatment of women in other countries!
Guest More than 1 year ago
A exceptionally well writen book that sheds tremendous insight into the Islamic faith and culture of Moslems in the middle east. I saw the movie years ago and it inspired me to finally read the book. I was fascinated to learn about Betty's triumph in overcoming hardship and abuse in Iran. This is definitely a must read book, especailly given the state of affairs the US is having today with the middle east. This story makes you proud and glad to be an American!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
i think that the book was fabolous maybe some parts people can obviously get offended by as we saw but they dont know what it was like for betty in iran i know this because my father is in the millitary and we went to the middle east it honestly isnt the best place no its not as harsh and whatnot as they say in the book BUT the book was also taken place in 1986 i know anerica isnt 100% innocent either but its not about that its about not with out my daughter. i personally thought it was the best book i have ever read. i had to read it for summer reading in portsmouth middle school to go to the 9th grade. i can honestly say i loved this book and i recomend it to EVERYONE! i myself i really hate reading books and after i read this book ive been wanting to read more and more
Guest More than 1 year ago
Book Review of: Not Without My Daughter By: Jill in Ohio I absolutely loved this book. I read it in my twelfth grade English class in high school. Although I don¿t know much about the country of Iran seeing how I¿ve never been there, I did study their culture, religion, and lifestyle in high school. I do know enough about Arabians that live in Iran to know that women are treated inferior to men and they must do exactly what their husbands say in order to steer clear of conflicts. This book was a very good and true representation of Arabians that live in Iran from my knowledge source. I don¿t think that all Arabs are like this especially the ones living in America that have been Americanized. Moody was a good representation of that concept because while his family lived in America he was portrayed to be a very happy, loving husband/father, but when he lost his job and they went back to his country his personality changed drastically. While in Iran surrounded by his huge family they swayed his decisions, and he became very moody and mean to his wife. He started beating her and took away all of her freedom. All of the other Arabian women and American women who were married to Arabians and had lived in the country now for some time were used to this sort of treatment and tried not to provoke the men in their lives in order to stay safe and resist conflicts. This to me would be very scary and hard to do, because they are forced to just give every right they have up. I think that Betty was a very brave woman to attempt to escape and bring her daughter and herself back to safety and freedom, and luckily she succeeded. This book was very interesting. It was one of the only books that I had read in high school that really held my attention and really made it hard for me to put it down.