Not without my Daughter is not an easy book to put down once you have flipped a few pages and understood the plight the protagonist of the book, Betty and sufferings that she and her daughter had endured in a foreign land, Iran.
The story begins with Betty’s description of her life back home in Iran, her second marriage with Iranian Doctor Mahmoody and birth of her daughter, Mahtob. Her happy marriage begins to take a turn towards melancholy and seperation when her husband decides to visit Iran with his family. Full of apprehensions and fear, she unwillingly makes arrangement to leave for a week’s family holiday in Iran.
The story begins to move when Betty and 8- year old Mahtob are not able to adjust not just in Mahmoody’s family but also in the country of Iran. They feel alienated and count days to go back their original home. A week’s holiday turns into a fortnight and then to a month, that is when Mahmoody confesses that “They will live in Iran, forever.”
Resistance doesn’t help Betty and Mahtob but courage does. They concede to Mahmoody’s wishes only to break free later. They planned,struggled and sometimes failed. But managed to gain enough bravery and trustworthy acquaintances in the adverse circumstances that life posed to them and did eventually flee by betraying Mahmoody.
An exceptional example of courage not just by a woman but a mother and her 8- year old daughter. The story is with a few twist and turns but enough to grip you till the end. A jaw dropping tale of a woman’s bravery, oppression and enduring. A perfect read while travelling via metro or bus.