STARRED REVIEW
December 01, 2015

The fearful legacy of a father’s abuse

By Mahtob Mahmoody
Review by
In this captivating companion to the sensational book and 1991 movie Not Without My Daughter, it is the daughter’s turn to tell her tale. Now grown, educated and fiercely independent, Mahtob Mahmoody recounts her harrowing escape with her mother from a tyrannical and abusive father in war-torn Iran.
Share this Article:

In this captivating companion to the sensational book and 1991 movie Not Without My Daughter, it is the daughter’s turn to tell her tale. Now grown, educated and fiercely independent, Mahtob Mahmoody recounts her harrowing escape with her mother from a tyrannical and abusive father in war-torn Iran. The years that follow, back in the U.S.A., are fraught with fear that the father will follow and reclaim his daughter. Instead of seeking anonymity, Mahtob’s mother, Betty Mahmoody, chooses to publicize their plight and the failure of U.S. and international laws to protect victims of international kidnappings. Loopholes get tightened and laws change as Betty becomes a passionate advocate for such injustices. Mahtob has no choice but to share the burden of her mother’s work: frequent travel, journalists asking probing questions and the constant threat of her father’s intervention.

Even changing her name temporarily to Amanda and reasserting her faith as a Christian do not alter the fact that Mahtob is her Muslim father’s daughter, and he wants her back. He stalks her dreams and threatens her security, engaging strangers to call and email her relentlessly, and even invade her apartment. Mahtob suffers from the debilitating effects of lupus and struggles with intimate relationships. She is unable to move on with her life until a psychology course assignment to “collect happiness” by keeping a daily list of five things that make her happy and sharing it with her classmates, seemingly impossible tasks, forces her to see things differently. Mahtob discovers she can change her life by changing her attitude. Before long, her disease is in remission and she is able to rid herself of many medications and their side effects. 

In My Name Is Mahtob, forgiveness comes in stages and takes many forms. It is a journey she bravely shares, as she discovers a “pleasure that there is not in vengeance.”

Trending Reviews

Get the Book

My Name Is Mahtob

My Name Is Mahtob

By Mahtob Mahmoody
Thomas Nelson
ISBN 9780718022105

Sign Up

Stay on top of new releases: Sign up for our enewsletters to receive reading recommendations in your favorite genres every Tuesday.