Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko
About the book:
Two decades ago, Not Without My Daughter (a global phenomenon made into a film starring Sally Field) told of the daring escape of an American mother and her six-year-old child from an abusive and fanatical Iranian husband and father. Now the daughter tells the whole story, not only of her imprisonment and escape but of life after fleeing Iran: living in fear of re-abduction, battling recurring nightmares and panic attacks, taking on an assumed name, surviving 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. Moving from Michigan to Tehran, from Ankara to Paris, Mahtob reveals the profound resilience of a wounded soul healed by her faith in God’s goodness and his care and love for her.
I was in my teens when I first read Betty Mahmoody’s story and it stuck with me. When I viewed the movie, I was struck by how they had downplayed the abuse for the movie. When I read Mahtob’s story, I was once again struck by it. What brave women!
These two women, experienced horror. They survived. But not only survived, they became conquerers through it all. They did not allow it to embitter them, but instead sought out to enrich others lives. Mahtob became a mental health professional, while her mother fought to change policy and promote safety for others in her position.
As much as I hated to see their experiences, this book is amazing! The letter at the end was one that I would say was a work of art. She is the prime example of forgiveness, love and care, yet she never spoke to her father again. She was able to remember the things she loved about him, the culture, the food and yet reject the evil narcissistic and abusive behavior that separated her from him. She, despite his evil and the harm he did to them, conquered and went on with her life.
I loved how she pointed out that it didn’t mean that they were healed because they forgave. It did not mean they had a relationship with her father, even as she prayed for him. Most of all, I loved seeing the relationship with God that grew through her years afterwards.
This is only my third book of 2016, but I can tell you now, it is going on the top reads of the year already. What an incredible, life changing story! If you have not read “Not without my daughter”, check it out as well, but don’t miss reading this incredible book as well.
Available for sale from Amazon or where books are sold.