Not Without My Daughter
(Christiansburg, Virginia, USA)
"Not Without My Daughter" is just so amazing to read. I saw the movie when I was 11 years old and as good as it was, the book tells so much more and really pulls you in. Betty Mahmoody was married to a Iranian and they had a daughter together. Wanting to please him, she goes with him on a vacation to Iran to visit his family. The husband wants to make the visit a permanent stay and when she refuses, he becomes very abusive and controlling, basically treating her as a prisoner. His family is against her, her family is thousands of miles away and it seems no one will help her.
She finds out she can go back home but only if she divorces her husband and gives up all rights to her daughter. She, of course, refuses and fights with everything she can to get her and her daughter out of there. The determination she had and the war against not only her husband but against the hate of Americans and women in Iran. Even though you know she obviously made it if she's written the book, you still hang on with baited breath to see what happens. One story she tells about when her daughter got hurt and there was no painkillers there and the girl had to get stitches without anything to ease the pain. It gave me chills just reading about it and how horrible it was to be there and feel like you were totally trapped.
I felt so inspired by her story and how she was never going to give up.. no matter what. She would rather die trying than just completely give up or abandon her daughter. It truly shows the power and determination of a mother's love and strength. I dare anyone to read it and not get very emotional in some parts.