The daughter at the center of the international bestseller Not Without My Daughter completes her story: escaping from Iran, growing up in fear, battling deadly disease, and learning to forgive.
Two decades ago, millions of readers worldwide thrilled to the story told in the international bestseller Not Without My Daughter—subsequently made into a film starring Sally Field—that told of an American mother and her six-year-old child’s daring escape from an abusive and tyrannical Iranian husband and father. Now the daughter returns to tell the whole story, not only of that imprisonment and escape but of life after fleeing Tehran: living in fear of re-abduction, enduring recurring nightmares and panic attacks, attending school under a false name, battling life-threatening illness—all under the menacing shadow of her father.
This is the story of an extraordinary young woman’s triumph over life-crushing trauma to build a life of peace and forgiveness. Taking readers from Michigan to Iran and from Ankara, Turkey, to Paris, France, My Name Is Mahtob depicts the profound resilience of a wounded soul healed by faith in God’s goodness and in his care and love. And Mahmoody reveals the secret of how she liberated herself from a life of fear, learning to forgive the father who had shattered her life and discovering joy and peace that comes from doing so.
Not Without My Daughter, Betty Mahmoody's bestselling book from 1987, detailed domestic abuse within her Iranian-American family, focusing particularly on the kidnapping carried out by her husband and the subsequent custody battle for her daughter, Mahtob Mahmoody, who was then five years old. In this follow-up memoir, Mahmoody tells her side of the story, from her early childhood memories of Iran and her father's abuse, to her later childhood and adolescence in the U.S. As a teen, she supported her mother's activism, feared her father's potential return, and found religion. In Mahmoody's telling, surviving her difficult childhood with her Christian faith and supportive family enabled her to grow into a wise and compassionate adult. It is a story of grace and forgiveness a touching endnote for those who followed her mother's story. However, after the initial drama of her time as a child hostage in Iran, much of the book details a relatively ordinary adolescence in the Midwest, and Mahmoody's writing, straightforward and devoid of luster, is not strong enough to carry the work as a standalone account for those not already invested in the story.