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Stolen: Escape from Syria
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Stolen: Escape from Syria

by Louise Monaghan, Yvonne Kinsella
     
 

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In the vein of Not Without My Daughter, Stolen: Escape from Syria is a memoir recounting a mother's crusade to rescue her kidnapped daughter from her abusive ex-husband during the tumultuous days of the Arab Spring

In the middle of one of the worst civil wars in Syria's history, Louise Monaghan walked across a heavily

Overview

In the vein of Not Without My Daughter, Stolen: Escape from Syria is a memoir recounting a mother's crusade to rescue her kidnapped daughter from her abusive ex-husband during the tumultuous days of the Arab Spring

In the middle of one of the worst civil wars in Syria's history, Louise Monaghan walked across a heavily guarded border to save her six-year-old child from the father who had callously snatched her from her home in Cyprus. Fearing for her daughter's future under the oppressive Sharia law, the Irish mother returned to her ex-husband, Mostafa Assad, to bide her time until she could escape with her daughter.

Once in his homeland, she too was held captive, locked inside a run-down house with little food and no hope of deliverance. Severely beaten by Mostafa —she was even left unconscious on the ground in front of their child—she and her little girl miraculously escaped.

This suspenseful account will pull at your heartstrings, enveloping you in harrowing events that no mother would dare imagine and culminating with the triumphal feats this mother achieved. Smuggled across a heavily patrolled mountain range in the dead of night through bomb attacks and sniper fire, Monaghan and her daughter speak to the transcendent bond between mother and child.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this intense memoir, Monahan undertakes a terrifying journey to rescue her daughter following the child’s kidnapping by her father. Their treacherous trek out of war-torn Syria into Lebanon to safety was suspenseful. But it is the staggering physical and psychological abuse Monahan suffered during her relationship with her ex-husband Mostafa that is the most disquieting aspect of her narrative. A native of Ireland and a successful sales consultant, Monahan was living in Cyprus when she met her future husband. Early on there were signs of trouble: At one point Mostafa nearly killed her—she’d discovered he had a wife and children in Syria. Still, Monahan continued the destructive relationship and acknowledged the absurdity of her actions: “It was a stupid way of looking at life, but I knew no other, so I just endured what I had to, as long as it didn’t affect my child.” Following the couple’s divorce, her ex-husband kidnapped their daughter taking her into war-ravaged Syria. Monahan bravely recounts this intimate family disaster with hopes her story will spark discussions about the rights of women in Muslim societies. (June)
From the Publisher

“This is a courageous, and ultimately engrossing, story of a woman's quest to bring her daughter back to safety.” —Kirkus Reviews

“In this intense memoir, Monahan undertakes a terrifying journey to rescue her daughter following the child's kidnapping by her father. Their treacherous trek out of war-torn Syria into Lebanon to safety was suspenseful. But it is the staggering physical and psychological abuse Monahan suffered during her relationship with her ex-husband Mostafa that is the most disquieting aspect of her narrative. A native of Ireland and a successful sales consultant, Monahan was living in Cyprus when she met her future husband. Early on there were signs of trouble: At one point Mostafa nearly killed her--she'd discovered he had a wife and children in Syria. Still, Monahan continued the destructive relationship and acknowledged the absurdity of her actions: "It was a stupid way of looking at life, but I knew no other, so I just endured what I had to, as long as it didn't affect my child." Following the couple's divorce, her ex-husband kidnapped their daughter taking her into war-ravaged Syria. Monahan bravely recounts this intimate family disaster with hopes her story will spark discussions about the rights of women in Muslim societies.” —Publishers Weekly

“An incredible journey to the hell of the Syrian warzone.” —Sunday World

“Reads like a thriller . . . an extraordinary story.” —Irish Sunday Independent

Kirkus Reviews
An autobiographical account of a mother retrieving her kidnapped daughter from war-torn Syria. While the book opens with a story about her ex-husband Mostafa's abduction of their daughter, the majority of the narrative is dedicated to Monaghan's reflections on an abusive relationship and how such a relationship progressed into a marriage. "I could have ended the relationship, but I loved Mostafa," she writes. "I just couldn't see through him." After the death of her mother, the author moved from the familiarity of her relatives and home in Dublin to embrace a new start on the sunny beaches of Cyprus. She got off to a good start by establishing a strong social network and achieving a degree of financial comfort. However, her life was irreversibly changed after a chance meeting at a local nightclub with her handsome and charismatic future husband. Ignoring the initial signs of possessive behavior, Monaghan entered into an increasingly destructive relationship with Mostafa, and the author provides detailed descriptions of the verbal, physical and sexual abuse that she endured. When she finally decided to get out of the relationship, Mostafa struck his hardest blow yet by illegally taking their young daughter over international borders into Syria. With the civil war raging, Louise had to somehow gain entrance into Syria and then find a way to bring her daughter home--and she had to accomplish this daunting task with only minimal assistance from the Irish embassy and international law enforcement. Although the story is weighed down by the extraneous details of a dark relationship, this is a courageous, and ultimately engrossing, story of a woman's quest to bring her daughter back to safety.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781250030269
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
06/18/2013
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
256
File size:
322 KB

Meet the Author

LOUISE MONAGHAN studied travel and tourism before working as a senior travel consultant. She is now trying to rebuild her life in Cyprus surrounded and protected by a large group of friends.


LOUISE MONAGHAN studied travel and tourism before working as a senior travel consultant. She is now trying to rebuild her life in Cyprus surrounded and protected by a large group of friends. She is the author of Stolen: Escape from Syria.

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