25 November 2015

My Name is Mahtob

Frequently, little Mahtob and her parents visited and dined with neighbours and friends in their multicultural Texas community during the early 1980's.  But just before her fifth birthday, the Iranian Revolution changed her father from a mild-mannered and doting man to a fundamentalist who would stop at nothing to ensure his family lived in his idea of the traditional Muslim way.  He tricked his wife into taking a two-week "vacation" to Iran with their daughter.  Local laws and customs essentially then made them prisoners.  Mahtob and her mother had to endure frequent beatings and find the courage to keep trying to escape. After they arrived in America, though, could they ever forgive?

My Name is Mahtob leaves the reader with a real flavour of author Mahtob Mahmoody's childhood memories - the sweetness and the bitter - as well as the difficult process of forgiving her father.  There was a real danger that this little girl could be kidnapped again or that her father and his comrades could do violence to the family.  This isn't a little, "I prayed a prayer and Jesus made it all better" book.  This girl lived crisis by crisis,  but a happy event during college pushed her to embrace happiness.  Mahtob was able to do this over time without losing sight of the fact that her father wronged her family.

Her mother published Not Without My Daughter, which later became a movie starring Sally Field, so if you know this story, you'll want to pick this book up as a companion reader.  I have to tell you, it's a bit hard to get through.  Reading about what this little girl remembers from her childhood and then to think that there are millions of other little girls living in similar circumstances is sobering.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


  1. That would give you background on what we see today. It is so hard to understand. I'm sure this doesn't glamorize the mentality of fundamentalist Muslim faith.

    You are a good writer. Makes me want to get the book!

  2. I have a copy of Not Without my Daughter, so this will be an interesting follow up. I'll look out for it in bookshops here.
    I saw the movie with Sally Field, but I think the book is better, there's more detail.


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