Betty Mahmoody is an American author born on 9 June 1945 in Alma, Michigan, United States. She was married to an Iranian man Sayyed Bozorg Mahmoody. Betty Mahmoody’s famous novel Not Without My Daughter is a biographical novel set in Tehran, during the Iranian or the Islamic revolution.
The story starts with Betty and her husband Dr. Sayyed Bozorg Mahmoody arriving in Iran from America along with their little daughter Mahtob. This was supposed to be just an occasional family visit to Moody’s family in Iran. But then eventually it turns out to be the worst nightmare for Betty and Mahtob.
With the progressing events between moody and his family, Betty slowly starts realizing that moody is in no mood of returning back to America. And with moody confessing the truth one day she feels deeply horrified. She feels trapped in this whole situation. Moody had very smoothly and intelligently dragged them both in his cage.
When Betty becomes aware of their reality she tries very hard to escape from Moody’s trap along with her daughter. She promises herself to get her daughter and herself out of this country and back to America to her parents. But her every escape plan fails. Every plan she looks forward to, with great hopes ultimately proves to be dangerous, given the fact that they are both females. Betty feels completely lost in this foreign country with a foreign language and no allies to her rescue.
Being completely helpless and done with Moody’s never-ending madness Betty becomes desperate to return to America. At last with no pre-planning and no preparations at all she grabs the opportunity at hand, her only chance to escape from Moody’s terrible prison and runs away with her daughter, determined to face the difficulties awaiting them. And thus sets for a perilous journey to successfully get out of Iran and hopefully go home safely.
This is a fascinating story of a woman’s courage who as a mother struggles to save her daughter from the clutches of the strange world they are both trapped in. She just wants to save her daughter at any cost and give her a better and a safe future. Betty tries her best and goes in for every little ray of hope which may lead to their escape. The only thing she wants is to escape from the prison of this madman who is, unfortunately, her husband. How could she have trusted him so easily given the fact that he had started acting so strange lately?
This journey of her struggle unfolds many unpleasant aspects of our society who in the name of religion and their so-called “laws” treat women as just a mere thing that can be manipulated as and when according to their wish. This is a story of every woman, who is in some way or the other subjected to the tortures of this male-dominated society. It is a sad thing that how in the name of religion and laws women are ill-treated in our society.
I think in today’s world every woman should become independent. They should be able to know what is right and what is wrong for them. They should be able to voice their wants and their needs. It’s high time now that every woman should stand up for their rights and know their importance. And this novel is one such example of a courageous woman like Betty who fights for her freedom as well as her daughter’s. She is ready to face any and every danger to get them both out of this crazy trap.
This story also tells us that no matter what the situation is, you yourself will have to fight your own battles. People will sympathize with you but at the end, it is you who has to act and stand for yourself.
There is nothing that I didn’t like about this novel. The story is well narrated by the author. She has very nicely described every incident with every possible detail, which drags you fully into Betty’s world. It makes you imagine the whole incident as if it is happening right in front of you. But at times these long descriptions slow down the pace of the story and tempts you to jump towards the active part of the story. In the beginning, the story seems a little boring but as it progresses it becomes more and more interesting and keeps you hooked till the end. Every chapter urges you to think what will happen next.
The language of this novel Not Without My Daughter by Betty Mahmoody is quite easy with some Iranian terms used by the author while telling about the Iranian culture and traditions. She has also provided the explanation or meanings for these words along with their usage.
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This is an inspirational novel for every woman who surrenders themselves to their destiny without even trying to fight back. I think every woman and every girl should read this book Not Without My Daughter. If you are a feminist reader then this is a must-read for you. If you like to read biographical stories than you can definitely go for this one by Betty Mahmoody.
Read Not Without My Daughter.