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For the Love of a Son: One Afghan Woman's Quest for Her Stolen Child

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  872 ratings  ·  101 reviews
From the New York Times bestselling author of PRINCESS: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia, comes the heartbreaking story of one woman's quest for her stolen child. As a little girl in Afghanistan, Maryam fought for equality and defied the second-class standing of women by pretending to be a boy. When her feisty spirit nearly cost her life, after a public ...more
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Published February 25th 2011 by Liza Dawson Associates (first published April 29th 2010)
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Maryam Khail totakhail
This is a true story, is my story. Everyone who has read the book gave an excellent review, they all loved the story.
I can't give this book a star rating since I didn't finish it.

I'm not a big fan of these kinds of books where we get a women telling us her live story, only for us to read all about how terrible it was to live in THAT country, in THAT culture. To me it feels more like it's commercial, bashing your traditions, ur origins and your people, only to sell a story, I have no respect for these women.

Now, if it was presented as fiction, that's a different matter.

In almost every page there is a mention of
I really liked this book, although there are some things I must say. First, I'm not sure it really is a true story, not because of the story itself, but because of the fact that the comments under the pictures make me a bit suspicious. For example, there is a photograph of Big Duran making a first call to his mother, and I find it very unlikely for someone to take photo in that situation. Second, the names are changed in order to protect people's identities and then the pictures are put inside?? ...more
Astrid Falkenberg
This was one of the more disturbing books I've read in a while, mostly because it was based on the true life of an Afghan woman, and because I will NEVER in my whole life understand or approve of the Islam religion that views women as basically unworthy and allows men to abuse them at will with no repercussions. One of the worst things was that once the abusive father had kidnapped the woman's child, he molded the innocent infant son into an exact replica of him. Had he stayed with his mother in ...more
Sarah Yassin
Oct 12, 2013 Sarah Yassin rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: DrIsmat hoso
Recommended to Sarah by: no body
رواية رائعة قرأتها ادخلتني في تفاصيلها واعطتني مشاعر البطلة وأحسست بأنني أعيش حياتها

كيف ؟
كيف يستطيع الرجال أن يتخذوا قرارات متعسفة بشأن حياتنا ؟
كيف يستطيع رجل أن يضرب ويغتصب زوجته أمام أطفاله ؟
كيف يستطيع رجل أن يخطف طفله من حضن والدته ويبعده عنها ليصنع منه وحشا كاسرا ، مريضا نفسيا ؟ كيف يستطيع أن يحول الحب والطمأنينة الى كراهية وحقد ؟ ولماذا كل هذا الظلم والتعسف ألأنهم رجال ؟؟!
يصدمني واقع وحال بلداننا العربية التي تمنح الحرية للرجال لفعل ما يشاؤون بالنساء والأطفال ، كيف يستطيع الأباء إجبار ب
Maggie Leivas
I really enjoyed this book and did not consider it heavy or boring in any way. The historical facts about Afghanistan and Maryam's family are necessary and add to the depth of the book. I think most American women my age and younger take our freedom so much for granted. It is difficult for us to believe how women can be so mistreated in other cultures.

I highly recommend this book and hope that some day I will be able to meet Ms. Khail or hear her speak.

Here is a video interview I discovered on y
Hassan Nasser

رحلة ثانية مع "جين ساسون" في قلب أفغانستان، بعد كتابها (مغامرة حب في بلاد ممزّقة) التي كانت في شمال العراق، أرض الأكراد.

أفغانستان، أرضٌ لم تعرف الهدوء والإستقرار منذُ أكثر من نصفِ قرن، كأنّما هي قطعة من جهنّم! رائحة البارود المنتشر في كل مكان تزكمُ الأنوف، الجدران ملطّخةً بالدماء، والجثث على أرصفة الشوارع والطرقات! هذا ما نشاهده على أرض الواقع، أما ما يدور خلف الكواليس وفي غسق الليل، فهو المؤامرات والإنقلابات! ما الذي يجري هناك؟! إنها الحرب!

حربٌ يدور رحاها بين المجاهدين الأفغان ضد الإحتلال الروس

This heart-breaking story of Maryam is an example of unending torture, oppression, silent submission and suffering of many Afghan women who are rendered too weak to raise a voice against violence done to them by their own husbands and unfathomable strict laws and prejudices in the minds of even the humblest and educated of men. The true face of these worlds, no less dangerous than underworld, is not just depressing, it's terrifying. Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq - whatever Muslim laws ar

Raghad Khamees
أي روعة تلك التي تكتب فيها جين ساسون ، رواية مؤلمة موجعة ابكتني في كثير من المواقع.
تكشف لنا الرواية عن مدى الظلم الذي يقع على المرأة في أفغانستان لا لسبب فقط لانها أنثى ، ومدى العار الذي يشعر به الشاب الأفغاني عندما تأتيه أنثى
استغرب جداً هذه الدول الإسلامية التي يجب ان تقدس المراة وتعطيها حقوقها .. هي أكثر الدول ظلما و إجحافا بحق المرأة
كم كرهت قيس هذا المجرم المنافق وكم كرهت الرجال من أمثاله
بقدر كرهي لقيس أحببت مريم المظلومة والمتمردة والمضحية والمحبة ..
The true life account of an Afghani woman. Despite her education and relatively priveledged life she is victim of tribal traditions and is subjected to abuse. I found it v distressing that even those closest to her, like her father and her sister, could not offer support at crucial moments. The outcome, is not a fairytale ending and there is no closure...such are the harsh relaities of life where violence breeds more violence, from generation to generation.
I love all of Jean Sassons book and this was very emotional for me to read about her suffering and about her stolen child and how disgusting the men are towards women when things dont go their way,and that even her own son would turn against her. After reading this book the first thing i did was give my mother a massive hug as really mothers are the most treasured gifts god has given us.
Afghan women really suffer for their children and their freedom.
Az Zahra  Islam
I love reading this book. I feel pity to Maryam for her first son did not really behave in a proper way towards her even though she is her very own mother. Thankfully, she is still manage to meet her son after so many years but it is not as what I expected where Big Duran will love and miss his mother so much instead he reacted just the same as his father.
Andrea Camacho
I loved this book, it shows the reality of afghan women, maybe is not a true story, I don't know, but is what many muslim women live.
I highly recommend it.
I really like Jean Sasson's books, I have read almost all of them and I recommend each one of them.
Mwa6nah Al Marzouqi
اللغة : سهله وبسيطة وبعيده عن التعقيد والتكلف.
الحكاية : جميلة مليئة بالتفاصيل اللي تشوق القارئ واللي تضيف له معلومات تخصّ آفغانستان و الحياة فيها.
النهاية : مُش متوقعة أبداً !! ولكنها إلى حد ما مُرضية ..

آنهيتها في عشر ساعات متقطعات.
Asma Ahmad
A very sad n true story.... Dis bk shows dat hw much da women in afghanistan had suffered n still sufferin... N it e1 shows da unimaginable luv of a mother 4 his lost child...
Great book. I feel the pain, i cry with maryam and for Maryams. I see my mom through this book, my sister, my best friend, myself. I see an afghan woman.
Blue Sea
I'm must admit that I love to read books but sometimes i'll procrastinate to finish a book... However Jean Sasson's writing had made me to continue to read without any reluctant. I knew what I read had published long time ago, however I don't feel it's a old story that not worth to read. Seriously I like Jean Sasson's writing..the way she describe things through words deliver the impact well.

This story had made me link it to a song - "If I were a boy" by Beyonce. Women..women...women...a symbol
Violet Crush
I love books by Jean Sasson. The first time I read on of her books I was in 11t Grade and it was probably my first non-fiction book. I have been a huge fan of hers ever since. I think her writing is simple but the stories in her books are heart wrenching. I remember I cried a lot when I read her book Mayada. She writes about women in the Muslim World. She writes about their oppression at the hands of those they love, oppression by their government and because of age old beliefs that are hard to ...more
Sharina  MS
I love the way it's written. the narration is just excellent, I hardly put down the book, I finished it immediately after started reading it. the story often made me laugh, cry and think. I feel devastated on how a nation of beautiful places like Afghanistan treat their women godlessly. never in Islam that Allah and the prophet teach to ridicule, terrorize women/wives. Whats shocking is there's a phrase in the book saying in Quran, "Man can do whatever he likes and man can beat their wives coz i ...more

يعتقد الكثيرون ان ما تكتبه جين ساسون في رواياتها سر لايجوز الإفصاح عنه لكونه يتطرق الى قضايا اجتماعيه تكشف
جوانب من علاقات الأفراد والتي يفضلون ان تبقى حبيسة لا تتعدى منافذ الحدود حتى وان كانت غير حقيقيه
إلا أني أرى انه
لا يوجد في رواياتها اسرار قد تكون مشوقة ومحصورة !
كما أن معظم المعلومات الحقيقية معروفة وغير جديرة بالاهتمام أو التكتم عنها ..
والناس اصبحو على وعي تام بما يحدث ولربما الى حقائق أكبر مما أشارت اليه الكاتبه

وبالعودة الى الروايه
تسرد تفاصيل حكاية تشبه آلاف الحكايات المبطّنة في جوف الت
I have read another book by this Author called, ' Mayada, Daughter of Iraq' which was excellent. unfortunately this book was not so good. The story dragged on in the beginning but the middle of the book was brilliant and then I had to finish it to find out the ending. I mainly read this sort of material to learn more about cultures in other countries. I certainly learnt a lot from this book. I like how the author does a mini history summary at the end of the book so the reader has a clearer unde ...more
This book is one of my favorite! It had got me so emotional and put me into tears. This book talks about the life of Maryam ; she promised herself not to marry because she feared being abused just like most Afghan women. But she was put under some family pressure and was forced to wed the wrong man. However, that man turned her child into something unexpected, something unlike his mother's pure heart.

I literally teared while reading the mothers feelings toward her long lost child :(
This was not what was advertised. It was meant to be the story of a woman seperated from her beloved son and trying to find him again. The first chapters I ploughed through were giving you the full story of each grandparent, then moved on to her father's story. By this point I was bored and decided not to continue with the book. When I read a true story, I expect the story to be about that person, not a personal history of every living relative first!!!
Yati Daud
When you look at the title of the book, it tells you alot. A mother's sacrifice for the love of her son. It tells you the story of a woman Maryam her childhood, growing up and becoming a woman and eventually getting married. She was raped and abused by her own husband whom I think is a psychopath.
Despite all the sufferings and hardships she has to go through, she is so determined to achieve equality with men.

This is definitely a good read.

The way the book started out I felt it was a bit confusing.. As she moves between d present n d past quite a lot. But once d pace of d book set in, every single emotion is heartfelt.

can't imagine women being so mistreated in those countries. Men can be such a threat to d very thread of humanity n it's always been like that. Every women should read this book. It's a reminder how lucky u r if u r not from those countries.
This is a very heart-wrenching book. Reading about the oppression and hardship faced by women in the middle east, it is very sad. Their stories make me feel so thankful for all the blessings I have and help me understand their plight so much more.

Thank you Maryam for sharing your story and thank you Jean for writing it. I read the comments you've posted and I pray that Big Duran will turn around for good.
*•.♥.•*Sabrina Rutter*•.♥.•*
Maryam was born a girl in a land where only boys dreams come true, but luck was on her side when she was born to educated parents with modern ideas. Growing up in a family where many had their own haunting past Maryam vowed to herself that she would not know that fate for herself. Fate though is something that just can't always be avoided. This is not only her story, but the story of her family.

Shapamjit Bariar
This story struck a chord n somehow it emphasizes on how vulnerable women are n can be. The atrocities she suffered solely due to her gender is pitiful but her son turnin agajnst her is heart wrenching. This story revealed a bitter truth behind veiled women and how despite being heavily masked they are so vulnerable cos of their gender...they can be raped,abused and tortured...truly a painful journey.
This book was another well done book by Jean Sasson....I have read almost all of her books and have enjoyed her so much as an author. It is so hard to believe that these things happen to women in today's world ....It is sad to see what has happened to Afganistan through out the years. I look forward to her reading her next book!
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About the book 3 17 May 25, 2012 09:25PM  
  • Zoya's Story: An Afghan Woman's Struggle for Freedom
  • The Imam's Daughter
  • A Promise To Nadia
  • The Sand Fish: A Novel from Dubai
  • The Price: My Rise and Fall As Natalia, New York's #1 Escort
  • Dear Zari: The Secret Lives of the Women of Afghanistan
  • Daughters Of Shame
  • Becoming Myself: Reflections on Growing Up Female
  • Muhajababes: Meet the New Middle East - Cool, Sexy and Devout
  • Price of Honor: Muslim Women Lift the Veil of Silence on the Islamic World
  • Forbidden Lessons in a Kabul Guesthouse: The True Story of a Woman Who Risked Everything to Bring Hope to Afghanistan
  • The Malay Dilemma
  • Once I Was a Princess
  • Flight of the Dragonfly
  • My Forbidden Face: Growing Up Under the Taliban: A Young Woman's Story
  • An Apple A Day (Old-Fashioned Proverbs and Why They Work)
  • Disgraced
  • Broken Moon
Jean Sasson was born in a small town in Alabama. An avid reader from an early age, she had read all the books in her school library by the time she was 15 years old. She also began her book collection at age 15. When given the chance to travel, Sasson accepted a position at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre in Riyadh, and lived in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for 12 years. She ...more
More about Jean Sasson...
Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia Princess Sultana's Daughters Princess Sultana's Circle (Princess Trilogy) Mayada, Daughter of Iraq: One Woman's Survival Under Saddam Hussein Love in a Torn Land: Joanna of Kurdistan: The True Story of a Freedom Fighter's Escape from Iraqi Vengeance

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