Not Without My Husband

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An interesting and very readable book which would make an excellent bookclub choice. View all 21 comments. I can't believe people are still reading this book! I read it years ago when it first came out and had a difficult time putting it down. Not because it is great literature, or because it is an intelligent, thought-provoking book about a culture few Americans take the time to learn about, but because William Hoffer is capable of writing a light, fast-paced, adventurous story.

Revisiting ‘Not Without My Daughter’ with Mahtob Mahmoody

I felt Betty Mahmoody acted very irresponsibly. She endangered her child by staying with a mentally unstable man, not to m I can't believe people are still reading this book! She endangered her child by staying with a mentally unstable man, not to mention visiting a country she knows absolutely nothing about. I have known and worked with several Iranians who are nothing at all like the characters portrayed in this book. Reading this dreck only serves to promote ignorance and ill-will towards a fascinating people. Burn this book and read something intelligent!

View all 19 comments. Jun 21, Jafar rated it it was ok. I read this book not long after I left Iran.

Movie Tie-In Edition; Corgi edition third reprint

View all 6 comments. People made their homes out of cinder blocks, durable cardboard, and any other supplies they could find. It was like night and day compared to where we lived. He had intimated as much to my mom during heated arguments before and after the divorce. It was a scary time to be a six-year-old, so my mom taught us how to memorize landmarks and phone numbers, even directions on how to get back to the international bridge, and what to tell authorities if my dad ever got a fit of the crazies.

It never came to that, thank goodness, but films like Not Without My Daughter fascinated my grandparents, mom, brother and I. We could seriously relate to the fear of being trapped in another country against your will. Although a super intelligent and gifted doctor, he was a raving, abusive madman—an equally cunning adversary.

Most of the critical reviews of this book claim that Mahmoody is racist, intolerant of Islamic culture, and a liar.

See a Problem?

Reading certain passages, I can see why some would say that. Culture shock within my culture, if you will. At any rate, I loved that Betty took the time to explain Muslim holidays and customs, foods and their preparations, rules of etiquette, and even bureaucratic governmental policies. I felt like I too was scuttling along the streets of Northern Tehran.


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How she finally escapes, and the sympathetic friends she meets along the way will make your heart soar. What a truly inspirational memoir!

'Not Without My Daughter' all grown up in Michigan

View all 25 comments. Oct 06, Negin rated it it was amazing Shelves: memoir-biography , persia-iran , all-time-favourites. We visited frequently until shortly after all the troubles started. They resented the fact that Iranians were portrayed negatively. My cousin was one of them and he and I got into a bit of a heated discussion about this. Personally, I thought that the movie was wonderful and it brought out all sorts of emotions in me.

Not Without My Daughter

Mind you, I only saw the movie that one time and it was enough. It was compelling and I could hardly put it down, except when it got to be too painful at times and I needed an emotional break. Her husband was an absolute tyrant and her life had become a living hell. Not all Iranians were shown in a negative light. There were some incredible kind-hearted individuals also, those who helped and befriended Betty in whatever way they could. Those parts made me cry. She most certainly does not. I simply cannot imagine having that sort of strength.

None of them were escaping a brutal husband. Most did not have a young child to worry about. Finally, every single one of them spoke Farsi. The ones that I have known escaped due to religious or political persecution. All in all, this book was an incredible read.


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  • I like Betty so much, that I wish I knew her personally. I just saw on amazon that her daughter, Mahtob, has a book coming out soon. The undertone of racism permeated this book. It was very hard to get through because of this. While at times I did feel for the situation the author was in, it was hard to sympathize with her on other occasions because she just seemed so judgmental.

    I understand she was angry and frustrated and had been through a lot; it probably would have been a better book had she given it some space for perspective. The story is no doubt interesting, but it could have been written better. View all 12 comments. May 07, Nicola rated it it was amazing. It will be interesting to read her husband and daughters take on things to fully understand the story from all points of view. Feb 03, Haden rated it did not like it Shelves: iran , nonfiction , school.

    If you have picked this book up in hopes that it will give you insight about Iran, put it right back down. Not Without My Daughter is one woman's experience that has been treated like an ethnography of Iranian and Persian culture, and it should never be treated as such. Betty Mahmoody's account of her time in Iran is not only full of gross factual inaccuracies but also blatant racism and xenophobia that made the reading experience hard to stomach.

    To put it in perspective, Mahmoody co-wrote the If you have picked this book up in hopes that it will give you insight about Iran, put it right back down. To put it in perspective, Mahmoody co-wrote the book with William Hoffer who wrote Midnight Express , a novel that also happens to be racist and xenophobic against Turkey.

    Mahmoody later admitted that this was a determining factor in her choice of co-authors because she wanted to get back at the whole of Iranian people what her husband and his family--one small group of people among millions!

    About This Item

    We must be aware that we are listening to an American woman tell us about a foreign culture based off eighteen months of experience instead of paying attention to the many who have lived and breathed this culture every day for their entire lives. If that weren't reason enough, Mahmoody had a proven agenda in writing this book with Hoffer, and the fact that it was published in the United States so soon after the hostage crisis, when public opinion was already so turned against Iran, also points to a monetary agenda as well as a political one.

    Please put this disgusting excuse for a book down if you want to learn about Iran. Read an Iranian novel in translation. Read any number of the books written by Farzaneh Milani. But for the love of all that is good, do not read what Betty Mahmoody is trying to sell you. On an anticlimactic last note, it's not well-written at all, grossness aside.

    Book Review: Not Without My Daughter

    How many times can you use rhetorical questions as a tool for "suspense" before we want to rip the question mark off your keyboard? View all 8 comments. Sep 03, Ella rated it really liked it Shelves: kindle. I couldn't put it down at all despite knowing the outcome.

    europeschool.com.ua/profiles/besyzasa/tarot-gratuit-ni-oui-ni.php Betty Mahmoody planned to go to Iran with her family for 2 weeks but her daughter and her get kidnapped by her husband and his family. In Iran they are his property and he can do whatever he wants to them beat, rape, keep them locked up, etc. This book was absolutely brutal and it horrified me to know this kind of stuff still happens today. While I was reading it I couldn't help but thinking how lucky I a 4.


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    • My heart breaks for every single child and woman who is abused every day, kept in a cage and ordered to fit in in a suffocating society. I don't know what I would have done in her situation, but I am so happy she managed to get out and write this book. Not only for herself but for everyone who has ever been in this situation. Highly recommend.

      Having seen the movie, I thought I knew what to expect here, but was I ever wrong!

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