Dennis's Reviews > Not Without My Daughter

Not Without My Daughter by Betty Mahmoody
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's review
Mar 25, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: biography, nonfiction

Reading this account was like watching a Lifetime Television for Women movie. (Sally Field, wasn't it?) The story is told exclusively from Betty Mahmoody's perspective and seems to skew heavily towards her particular biases. On several occasions I felt myself rolling my eyes and wishing someone would help Betty snap out of it because her storytelling frequently devolves into whininess. At the same time, it would be difficult to overestimate the fear, whether rational and justified or not, that a mother could feel at finding herself trapped in a foreign country and culture where she has no escape and fears for her safety and the safety of her child. That fear is what emerges clearly throughout the story and rings true as it unfolds.

I found myself enjoying details about Iranian life and culture while observing to measure the negativity with a grain of salt. No culture is without its pluses or minuses when examined objectively, and it would be an error to form a view of Iranians without attempting first to understand the historical and political background contributing to the environment in Iran during the 1970s and 80s. Without a doubt I felt the relief when Betty and Mahtoub at last reach Turkey and then return to reside in America. And I certainly feel a deeper gratitude for my home country and the freedoms we value here.
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Kerry Connelly of course its from betty's bias- its HER autobiography :)

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