Trapped in Iran: A Mother's Desperate Journey to Freedom by Samieh Hezari and Kaylene Petersen

Monday, 31 July 2017
Trapped in Iran: A Mother's Desperate Journey to Freedom, by Samieh Hezari and Kaylene Petersen
Publication: August 21, 2016, by Indiana University Press
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Pages: 216
Format: ARC
Source: BEA/Publisher
Rating: ½

In 2009, Samieh Hezari made a terrible mistake. She flew from her adopted home of Ireland to her birthplace in Iran so her 14-month-old daughter, Rojha, could be introduced to the child's father. When the violent and unstable father refused to allow his daughter to leave and demanded that Samieh renew their relationship, a two-week holiday became a desperate five-year battle to get her daughter out of Iran. If Samieh could not do so before Rojha turned seven, the father could take sole custody--forever. The father's harassment and threats intensified, eventually resulting in an allegation of adultery that was punishable by stoning, but Samieh--a single mother trapped in a country she saw as restricting the freedom and future of her daughter--never gave up, gaining inspiration from other Iranian women facing similar situations. As both the trial for adultery and her daughter's seventh birthday loomed the Irish government was unable to help, leaving Samieh to attempt multiple illegal escapes in an unforgettable, epic journey to freedom. Trapped in Iran is the harrowing and emotionally gripping story of how a mother defied a man and a country to win freedom for her daughter.

My Thoughts:

Trapped in Iran by the phenomenal Samieh Hezari is phenomenal. It's a read that definitely requires a lot of patience and strength since it is based on a tough, sad subject. I am obsessed with books that are about the things a person will do to save their children. There was a movie that I watched like year, Not Without My Daughter, which is so similar to this — which made me realize that the Iranian Revolution is such a powerful topic that I need to read more about. Samieh Hezari's story needs more popularity; more people who are able to fall in love with all of this.

This is a story that is so jam-packed that I couldn't believe it. It just seems as good as any movie's plot. However, it was all real, and I was able to feel the deepness and emotion in every word Samieh wrote. I was fortunate to meet her at BookExpo America in 2016, however I had not learned much about her story at that moment so I was only able to pity her a little. Now? I understand all of the struggles she faced and I can see why she felt like she needed to release this story and share it with the world. 

Trapped in Iran is brilliant. It is about a mother's struggle in saving her daughter and herself from the harmful Islamic regime which does not grant women any right to support her children if the father does not allow it. Men have a greater importance, and it kills me to see that this journey of Samieh's only occurred a few years ago. Not Without My Daughter, the famous film, occurred decades ago (with the film arising soon after), but this? This is recent. This is so heartbreaking.

In the beginning of the book, I was frustrated with Samieh's situation to the extent that I wondered why she didn't do anything else. It got me a little upset here and there, definitely affecting my rating. Everything eventually made so much sense and I was able to see desperation in Samieh's writing. My experience of reading this book was fabulous to the point that it took me two sittings to read. If I read this in one sitting, I would have had to stay up all night, indulging in the gorgeous writing and brilliant story. I spent the whole time through crossing my fingers and praying that everything will be alright in the end. But like many instances in life, it is not about the outcome or the ending, but about the journey in between.

This is an emotional roller coaster. You get hooked on it instantly, and as the plot moves forward, you become so obsessed with the story that you NEED to know what is going to happen. PLEASE BUY IT ASAP. 

*A review copy was provided by the publisher via BookExpo America in exchange for a honest review. Thank you so much!*

What is the last emotional book you read?

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