Sunday Book Club: Not Without my Daughter

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. Having to plan and execute a very risky escape for yourself and a five year old. Those are the bones of 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 husbamd finding out. This book follows the story of their ordeal and ultimately their escape through a mountain range, in treacherous conditions.

Social experiment

This was a book sent to me after a social media post on facebook did the rounds.

I received four books as a result of this status. Some got more, some less, and unfortunately some participants didn’t get any. I guess that’s the risk when asking people to participate in something like this.


I have no idea who sent it to me but 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!

Not without my daughter book

Interestingly, Betty’s husband Moody wrote a book of his own in response to Not Without My Daughter. Mahtob, the then 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.


One comment

  1. This story is amazing, had me hooked throughout too when I read it about 15yrs ago. They’ve made a film of it too with Sally Field, makes it terrifyingly real!

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