A story about a mother-daughter who are on flee from Iran away from the paternal family where they were trapped and coaxed to practice, Islam. Betty and her daughter Mahtob had been to Tehran to visit Moody’s family. The cultural and lifestyle difference between America and Iran made the mother-daughter uneasy and restless; the unhygienic way of living and thinking seemed to be unbearable. But these duos pacified themselves assuring each other about their return to the homeland within a couple of days. But on the day of departure Betty’s husband Moody changed his mind about their departure and decided to stay back. Further on he began to grow into a typical male chauvinist husband who physically abused his wife and daughter to obey his rules.
But Betty did not give up on her circumstances and decided to abscond with her daughter. On begging for help from different people and friends around, she was turned down by her destiny in every possible way. She was offered to be smuggled and escape leaving her daughter behind. But she put her foot down on the selfish option to escape alone and replied back saying “Not without my daughter”. The book picturizes the random wartime scenes of 1980s, the economic breakdown due to anti-national movements and Iranian culture(in the 80s) very well.This frightening story of being held captive in a hostile country by a loving husband….turned monster and liar….is much worse than the movie in many respects…the unsanitary living conditions, holes in the floor for toilets, and sexual abuse by taxi drivers are the worst, by far, but the brutality is that “accepted” treatment of women and children…..shocking and despicable in some Countries under the hoof of religion.
Its been one of my most favorite books since it helped me believe in my inner power as a female. The suspense and drama didn’t let me put this book down until I finished it within a span of 1.5 days. While reading the book I thought to myself; Why did she go to Iran? I wanted to scream at her the whole time. Her reasons were explained too late in the book. She knew her husband was insane. She also knew her husband’s cousin was wicked. Did she know nothing about Iranian culture?
I can’t believe the people who were willing to help(especially Ahmal the Samaritan). They give me faith in mankind. I’m even impressed by the Turks who smuggled her across the border. They could’ve taken the money and ran. So many aspects and twists in the book. I surely recommend this book rating it 5/5.