Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Not Without My Daughter

For April book club Sarah chose Not Without My Daughter by Betty Mahmoody.  I think the quote on the cover summed it up pretty nicely: "Fascinating, if disturbing."

This book was a page turner from beginning to end.  In my wildest dreams I would not have thought that something like Betty's story could happen in today's world.  (Shows you how naive I am.)

Here are some questions that Crissi came up with.  We discussed a few, but it's nice to see them in writing to really think through some of them:
  1. Do you think keeping his wife and daughter in Iran was wrong?  Why?
  2. Was it wrong of Betty to take her daughter and kidnap her back to America where Mahtob could not see her father?  Then why did Betty think it would be wrong for Moody to do that and take Mahtob to Iran?
  3. If a Brazilian woman took her son out of the US and returned to Brazil without the husband's permission would that be wrong?  What circumstances would make it right or wrong?
  4. Would you have tried to escape if you were Betty?  Or do you identify more with Ellen and why?
  5. What would you have done differently than Betty?  What actions are you critical of?
  6. What did you learn about the Islamic faith?  What are parts you liked vs. disliked?
  7. Contrast the turban man with some of Moody's other male relatives.
  8. What do you think of the dress code for women in Iran?  Is it really their choice to be modest or forced?  How much do you think is cultural vs. religious beliefs?
  9. How do you think the events in Iran will shape Mahtob's view of human rights, women's rights or family relations?
  10. Do you think the Lord expects the people of Iran to follow the laws of the land?
I also wonder about the question of nature vs. nurture?  Do you think if you had grown up as a young boy in Iran you would treat the women in your life the same way Moody treats Betty and Mahtob?

We had a very good discussion and I'm sure there was so much more we could have talked about.  Leave your comments if you want to discuss it more.

Thank you Sarah for hosting!  The book was exciting and the treats were delicious!

You can also watch the movie on Netflix.  They've tamed it down a lot, and naturally it's not as good as the book.  But it's a fun watch nonetheless.

*Next month's book: The Davinci Code by Dan Brown.  Crissi Farnsworth will be hosting.  


  1. Ok, so I'll admit I didn't have it finished for bookclub (but I had watched the film, so I knew the basics), but I just finished it and it was an entertaining and captivating read. I read a short bio of Mahtob (who apparently can be reserved as a keynote speaker) and went on youtube and watched the counter documentary Without My Daughter. It was all so interesting and I wish I could discuss all of that stuff with everyone again now!

  2. I watched the film a few days ago, but I need to watch the documentary. We will have to chat once I do! I'll bet it's super interesting.