Not Without My Daughter Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Not Without My Daughter

In 1984 Betty Mahmoody and her four-year old daughter acompany her husband to Tehran where they are to meet his relatives. What started out to be a two week trip, turns into a nightmare! After the two weeks, Betty's husband won't allow them to go home. For months, Betty and her daughter Mahtob are yelled at and even beaten by their short-tempered "master". Betty eventually finds poeple who will help her out of the country but not her daughter. She refuses to leave her daughter and waits. Somone then offers to smuggle them both out of the country.
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The review of this Book prepared by Jennifer McArdle

Betty Mahmoody was a young American mother, married to a man with family ties in Iran. She was asked to go with her husband to Iran to visit his family, along with their daughhter, Mahtob. When they got there, Betty believed that she was going to stay for two weeks and then go home. Her husband then began to go back to his Iranian ways, which included the fact that the father figure was the head of the family and had custody of the children. When she tried to escape, she discovered that she could leave by herself, but she could not bring her daughter with her.

Moody, the husband, was cruel. He assaulted her numerous times and people just stood there and watched as she got pummeled into a pulp. When she began to get freedom, she began to find ways to contact the people that she loved, and to find a way to escape from the prison that her husband called home.

Betty began to meet people that were quite kind to her and Mahtob, and helped her to find a way to escape. These people included store people, fellow Americans, people at the US Embassy, and even the teachers and employees at the school. They would do almost anything to help her as long as it did not endanger them in any way. They eventually found a way out to get to Turkey, but not without its danger. Read the book if you want to know more.
The review of this Book prepared by Jenn

Betty Mahmoody is a devoted wife and mother until her husband, Moody, unexpectedly turns on her. Born and raised in Iran, Moody decides that he would like to take his wife, Betty, and daughter, Mahtob, to visit relatives in his homeland. Betty is reluctant at first, but is assured by her husband that it will only be for two weeks. Once in Iran, Moody informs Betty that they will not be returning to the United States.

Betty runs to the U.S. Embassy for help and finds that although she has the legal right to leave the country, she cannot take her daughter because, in Iran, the father has legal custody. She refuses to leave without her daughter and returns to the home that she must now share with relatives. Trapped and unhappy, she is mistreated by both her husband and his family. She is beat and locked inside her rooms for days. She must learn to prepare insect infected food. And even worse, she must watch as her daughter is constantly scolded and punished at the school that she is required to attend. Betty and Mahtob must learn to survive in a country where she knows nothing of the language, customs, or laws.

Betty is watched at all times and there are few opportunities for her to make contact with anyone outside of the house. She is rarely allowed to even call home where her older two sons are living with her parents awaiting her return. Soon, though, Betty begins to find ways to search for help. Once she is trusted to make short shopping trips, she uses these opportunities to either go to the Embassy or to make phone calls at a local store. Eventually she is put in touch with a group of people who, for a fee, agrees to hide and smuggle them out of the country. Although dangerous, Betty decides that it may be the only chance for her to leave Iran with her daughter. Betty and Mahtob begin the long journey back home to the United States.

The review of this Book prepared by Tracy Alexander

Chapter Analysis of Not Without My Daughter

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Plot & Themes

Political/social rights fight    -   Yes Plotlet:    -   women fighting for rights Ethnic/Relig. of subject (inside)    -   Arab or Muslim Gender/Class story?    -   woman's story If this is a culture clash:    -   visiting a different culture Ethnic/regional/gender    -   Yes Period of greatest activity?    -   1950+

Subject of Biography

Gender    -   Female Ethnicity    -   White Nationality    -   American


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   7 () Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   Turkey Century:    -   1980's-Present

Writing Style

How much dialogue in bio?    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog How much of bio focuses on most famous period of life?    -   76%-100% of book

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