Sunday Book Club: Week Two

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Not Without my Daughter
Betty Mahmoody

Imagine finding yourself a prisoner in your home at the hands of your husband. In a foreign land; a country you travelled to under duress. Mentally and physically abused and separated from your young child. That’s the story behind Not Without My Daughter.

This was the nightmare lived by Betty Mahmoody and her daughter Mahtob. Held against their will, desperate to return to America and with no allies, Betty had to find a way to get herself and Mahtob out of Iran without her husband finding out. This book follows the story of their ordeal and ultimately their escape through a mountain range, in treacherous conditions.

I really enjoyed this book. I read the entire thing in one day as I couldn’t bear to wait to discover the fate of the Mahmoody women from their seemingly impossible situation.

In parts I wonder how such small details were remembered, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some slight elaboration on some parts of the story. That said, the apparent facts behind this tale of domestic abuse and the effect of mental health issues gripped me as a reader and I found myself both rooting for Betty and unable to put the book down!

Elaboration on detail or not, this story is all too familiar to so many around the world. Domestic violence happens to men and women from all walks of life and is not deserved by anyone. Please see the end of this post for helpline relating to domestic abuse.

Interestingly, Betty’s husband Moody wrote a book of his own in response to Not Without My Daughter. Mahtob, the five year old at the centre of the drama, has also released a book. I’m not sure I really have any inclination to read either one of the others but I suppose each one might give an alternative version of events.

If you need help or advice around domestic abuse, these details may be useful:

Victim SupportĀ 0808 168 9111

National Domestic Violence Helpline 0808 2000 247

Men’s Advice Line 0808 801 0327


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