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Stranger No More: A Muslim Refugee’s Story of Harrowing Escape, Miraculous Rescue, and the Quiet Call of Jesus

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There will be pain ahead, and trouble and problems that I won’t be able to fix on my own. But in them all, I know God will be there, calling me to look to him. Inviting me to take the next step toward his open arms. And I will say yes. And yes. And yes.   Annahita Parsan was born into a Muslim family in Iran and grew up with the simple hope of one day finding There will be pain ahead, and trouble and problems that I won’t be able to fix on my own. But in them all, I know God will be there, calling me to look to him. Inviting me to take the next step toward his open arms. And I will say yes. And yes. And yes.   Annahita Parsan was born into a Muslim family in Iran and grew up with the simple hope of one day finding a good husband, having children, and doing some good in the world. Married and a mother before she turned eighteen, Annahita found herself unexpectedly widowed and trapped for years in an abusive second marriage that she later fled—discovering instead a God who might love her. Stranger No More is the remarkable true story of Annahita’s path from oppression to the life-changing hope of Jesus. Fleeing Iran across the mountains into Turkey, she spent months in the terrifying Agri prison before a miraculous release and flight to Europe, where she and her two children knelt in a church and prayed, “God, from this day on we are Christians.” Filled with unthinkable circumstances, miraculous rescues, and the quietly constant voice of Jesus, Stranger No More leads readers deep into the heart of God and draws them toward the same call that Annahita heeds today: using her past to save others from theirs. As the leader of two congregations in Sweden, Annahita has baptized hundreds of former Muslims since her own conversion, has seen firsthand the powerful ways God is at work among those who have left Islam behind, and is reminded every day that saying yes to God is always worth the risk.


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There will be pain ahead, and trouble and problems that I won’t be able to fix on my own. But in them all, I know God will be there, calling me to look to him. Inviting me to take the next step toward his open arms. And I will say yes. And yes. And yes.   Annahita Parsan was born into a Muslim family in Iran and grew up with the simple hope of one day finding There will be pain ahead, and trouble and problems that I won’t be able to fix on my own. But in them all, I know God will be there, calling me to look to him. Inviting me to take the next step toward his open arms. And I will say yes. And yes. And yes.   Annahita Parsan was born into a Muslim family in Iran and grew up with the simple hope of one day finding a good husband, having children, and doing some good in the world. Married and a mother before she turned eighteen, Annahita found herself unexpectedly widowed and trapped for years in an abusive second marriage that she later fled—discovering instead a God who might love her. Stranger No More is the remarkable true story of Annahita’s path from oppression to the life-changing hope of Jesus. Fleeing Iran across the mountains into Turkey, she spent months in the terrifying Agri prison before a miraculous release and flight to Europe, where she and her two children knelt in a church and prayed, “God, from this day on we are Christians.” Filled with unthinkable circumstances, miraculous rescues, and the quietly constant voice of Jesus, Stranger No More leads readers deep into the heart of God and draws them toward the same call that Annahita heeds today: using her past to save others from theirs. As the leader of two congregations in Sweden, Annahita has baptized hundreds of former Muslims since her own conversion, has seen firsthand the powerful ways God is at work among those who have left Islam behind, and is reminded every day that saying yes to God is always worth the risk.

30 review for Stranger No More: A Muslim Refugee’s Story of Harrowing Escape, Miraculous Rescue, and the Quiet Call of Jesus

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lynn Horton

    I read this as part of a ladies book club, and we universally agreed that we wouldn't recommend this to a friend. Although the story is a powerful one, this book is very poorly executed. Far too much time is spent on the protagonist's (and I realize that this is a true story, but it reads as if it was ghost-written, as it was) trials and tribulations prior to escaping her abusive husband. Then very little was written about her current life and ministry. It was as if the ghostwriter became overly I read this as part of a ladies book club, and we universally agreed that we wouldn't recommend this to a friend. Although the story is a powerful one, this book is very poorly executed. Far too much time is spent on the protagonist's (and I realize that this is a true story, but it reads as if it was ghost-written, as it was) trials and tribulations prior to escaping her abusive husband. Then very little was written about her current life and ministry. It was as if the ghostwriter became overly excited with such dramatic material and forgot all about pacing and conclusion. A reader has to push through so much violence that it almost becomes meaningless, then is left very unsatisfied without a conclusion that shows how this woman is impacting those around her, or even much about how she achieved what she's doing. All in all, this is a VERY weak effort to tell a story that could have a great deal of impact for good. NOT recommended.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Yibbie

    It’s a heartbreaking book. She shares so much of the pain she suffered. I found it almost impossible to put down. The majority of the book is about what her life was like before she was saved. She suffered so much heartache and pain. It reminded me of Not Without My Daughter by Betty Mahmoody, but it has a more complex and happier ending. It was wonderful to read of her salvation by faith in Christ. Unfortunately, I have to strongly caution anyone reading this book about several unbiblical as It’s a heartbreaking book. She shares so much of the pain she suffered. I found it almost impossible to put down. The majority of the book is about what her life was like before she was saved. She suffered so much heartache and pain. It reminded me of Not Without My Daughter by Betty Mahmoody, but it has a more complex and happier ending. It was wonderful to read of her salvation by faith in Christ. Unfortunately, I have to strongly caution anyone reading this book about several unbiblical aspects in the last few chapters of the book. The first would be the vague confusing details about Salvation. She says that she was saved when she saw and understood a movie about Jesus. Unfortunately, that’s all the details she ever gives even as she tells about witnessing to others. Never does she actually share the Gospel. Instead, what she talks about are a series of miracles, mystical experiences, and dreams that bring people to a desire to surrender their lives to Christ. Throughout the last chapters, she seems to run her life based on dreams and signs, and not Scripture. That led to her becoming a pastor in complete disregard for the plain teaching of the Bible. Sadly because of those things I can’t recommend anyone read it. I received this as a free ARC from NetGalley and Thomas Nelson. No positive review was required. These are my honest opinions.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jill Dobbe

    An incredible and harrowing read about a Muslim woman born in Iran who flees her country and makes a new home in Sweden. Annahita Parsan marries a violent man and suffers insurmountable violence while she tries to make a better life for herself and her children. She eventually gets away from him and finds religion. I was astounded to read about what this author went through in her younger life and managed to survive. To say she is strong and fearless is an understatement. I enjoy reading memoirs An incredible and harrowing read about a Muslim woman born in Iran who flees her country and makes a new home in Sweden. Annahita Parsan marries a violent man and suffers insurmountable violence while she tries to make a better life for herself and her children. She eventually gets away from him and finds religion. I was astounded to read about what this author went through in her younger life and managed to survive. To say she is strong and fearless is an understatement. I enjoy reading memoirs about brave women who do what they have to to overcome their horrible circumstances in order to better their lives and those of others. This book does not disappoint. It is an engaging, powerful, and inspiring read that I found hard to put down. Thank you Net Galley.

  4. 4 out of 5

    David

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Stranger No More: A Muslim Refugee’s Story of Harrowing Escape, Miraculous Rescue, and the Quiet Call of Jesus by Annahita Parsan is the author's personal memoir of being born and raised in a Muslim family. She entered into an arranged marriage that was a happy time for her with a decent man and had children. But when he dies fighting in the Iran-Iraq War, a second marriage is quickly arranged for her that did not turn out so good. Stuck in her situation with mental and physical abuse that her h Stranger No More: A Muslim Refugee’s Story of Harrowing Escape, Miraculous Rescue, and the Quiet Call of Jesus by Annahita Parsan is the author's personal memoir of being born and raised in a Muslim family. She entered into an arranged marriage that was a happy time for her with a decent man and had children. But when he dies fighting in the Iran-Iraq War, a second marriage is quickly arranged for her that did not turn out so good. Stuck in her situation with mental and physical abuse that her husband said was his right under Islamic sharia Law. She felt trapped with no legal way out and became more and more disillusioned with Islam. Meanwhile, her husband, having been a supporter of the Shah had to flee Iran initially for Turkey and later possibly to Europe with his family. During their flight from Iran Annahita found herself praying to overcome obstacles but not for Allah's help as she no longer felt valued as a woman under Islam. Instead she prayed to the Christian God and it seemed to open doors for their escape. She experienced many things that she felt could not be just coincidence that helped her get to a better place, eventually in Sweden with her children but without her husband who continued to pursue her. She ended up preaching to fellow Muslims who left or wanted to leave Islam and convert to Christianity with all of the personal risks involved in that. Annahita did what she felt was right in spite of so many things stacked against her. I was impressed how she never gave up in pursuit of what she felt was right and the strength she showed while going through some very tough and challenging times.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    “Iranians can tell a lot about a house by looking at the carpet. In the west it is the art on the walls that reveal a person’s taste, but in Iran the best art is always right beneath your feet. The best carpets come from Isfahan; they are made with silk and can cost thousands of dollars.” In her memoir Stranger No More Annahita Parson weaves an Iranian carpet of the imagination. She takes her readers on a perilous journey of domestic abuse, imprisonment, widowhood and motherhood, flight and frost “Iranians can tell a lot about a house by looking at the carpet. In the west it is the art on the walls that reveal a person’s taste, but in Iran the best art is always right beneath your feet. The best carpets come from Isfahan; they are made with silk and can cost thousands of dollars.” In her memoir Stranger No More Annahita Parson weaves an Iranian carpet of the imagination. She takes her readers on a perilous journey of domestic abuse, imprisonment, widowhood and motherhood, flight and frostbite through the mountains of Turkey, seeking refuge in Denmark. Like the strands of silk in the best carpets, her story is woven of the delicate yet tenacious yearning for freedom from the oppression of an Islamic regime-- “No more chadors, no more prisons, no more fear of the mullahs”--and the universal desire “to make a safe home and a good future for my son and my daughter. I wanted all of us to be able to live without having to hold our breaths in fear of what was coming next. I wanted to belong too. To be able to laugh and dance and hear the air fill with the laughter and happy talk of people I knew and loved.” But like the ornate Iranian carpets, Parson’s journey comes at a cost. “On the morning that we left, I looked at the single green suitcase we had been given...What little we had we carried between us...The room was empty and my bag was full, but I felt as though I was leaving everything behind.” Stranger No More is not only a story about abuse, it’s also about angels: “a ray of kindness in the middle of all the darkness.” An officer’s wife in Turkey who takes care of Parson and her daughter, a Roma woman at the refugee center who offers her food and money to call home, English-speaking strangers who bring her a Bible in Farsi--all people God had used to watch over her as she searched for peace and safety. While seeking asylum at a convent in Sweden, Parsan asks a nun, “What is it about this life that keeps you here?” The sister replies simply, “I love God. I want to give my life to serve him.” Ultimately, Parsan--and her family--make the same decision. In a candlelit church in Sweden, this Iranian woman commits her life to Christ. “If life has taught me anything, it is that words can have power, but the Spirit of God is even greater still. If we want to see lives changed, the best thing we can do is step back and pray.” Parsan's story is a testimony to the power of prayer and the perfect Love that casts out fear! A must-read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tonya

    There is so much hardship and pain in this world. Annahita's journey from living under a repressive regime to the freedom of life with Jesus is as encouraging as it is hard to read. This book reminded me that freedom of religion is a gift that should not be taken for granted. God is infinitely creative in calling people to Himself and that creativity is on display in the many ways Christians in other cultures respond to Him in worship. There is so much hardship and pain in this world. Annahita's journey from living under a repressive regime to the freedom of life with Jesus is as encouraging as it is hard to read. This book reminded me that freedom of religion is a gift that should not be taken for granted. God is infinitely creative in calling people to Himself and that creativity is on display in the many ways Christians in other cultures respond to Him in worship.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Blake Western

    This book is as exciting as any novel that you will ever read. And it is true. It documents Annahita Parsan's life in Iran, her life as a refugee, and encounter with Christ. It is a real page-turner! This book is as exciting as any novel that you will ever read. And it is true. It documents Annahita Parsan's life in Iran, her life as a refugee, and encounter with Christ. It is a real page-turner!

  8. 5 out of 5

    English

    This isn't an easy or 'light' read simply because the author suffered so many tragic and painful experiences of domestic abuse, and even torture in prison. Ultimately though, its a story of victory and overcoming the odds, as Annahita finally chose not to allow her circumstances to destroy her, and her children. The account of her conversion and later ministry among other Muslim refugees comes only at the end, providing a lovely lesson in how a life can be transformed by God's love. I have a few This isn't an easy or 'light' read simply because the author suffered so many tragic and painful experiences of domestic abuse, and even torture in prison. Ultimately though, its a story of victory and overcoming the odds, as Annahita finally chose not to allow her circumstances to destroy her, and her children. The account of her conversion and later ministry among other Muslim refugees comes only at the end, providing a lovely lesson in how a life can be transformed by God's love. I have a few complaints though: I'm sure some of the early promotional material said that the author was a Sudanese refugee, and I must confess, that was one of the reasons I requested this book: because I thought it might include insights into the situation in Sudan during the last few years. Turns out she was actually Iranian and escaped the country in the 80s. Not that it really makes any difference. Second, along with other reviewers, I feel some of the things that happened to her were a result of poor choices on her own part, and so could have been avoided, or a tendency to follow the lead of others, without really seeking the will of God. She became a Pastor primarily because her pastor said she would one day, for instance. I guess its a reflection of reality, in which we all make poor choices, so I should not really judge. I was also slightly concerned about her associations with the modern hyper-Charismatic movement, and the implication that her siblings accepted Jesus as a result of attending a service in which they were 'slain in the Spirit' - basically falling over. I wonder if there was more too it than that, and seeing the change in her life might have been part of the equation too. Otherwise though, a good read, and recommended for those interested in real-life stories, and lovers of the biography genre. I requested this book from the Publisher via Booklook Bloggers and requested the audiobook of my own volition. I was not required to write a positive review, and all opinions expressed are my own.

  9. 4 out of 5

    NinaB

    This is a fascinating story of a woman who endured unimaginable obstacles to escape the cruelty of her culture, religion and husband. The writing is ok and the pace is just fine. I give the first part of it 3-star, but the latter part a 1-star. It is being marketed as a conversion story by a former Muslim, yet that part is not explained in detail. She met kind Christians who helped her along the way, but there was no real explanation of how she realized she needed a Savior. There was no story ab This is a fascinating story of a woman who endured unimaginable obstacles to escape the cruelty of her culture, religion and husband. The writing is ok and the pace is just fine. I give the first part of it 3-star, but the latter part a 1-star. It is being marketed as a conversion story by a former Muslim, yet that part is not explained in detail. She met kind Christians who helped her along the way, but there was no real explanation of how she realized she needed a Savior. There was no story about how she understood her sin nature. And her reference to “Christian” is a smorgasbord of faiths that don’t necessarily agree with their core beliefs. She first encountered Catholic nuns, but was later baptized in another church where she served as a pastor. It’s not clear what specific Faith she follows, except that they “follow” Jesus. Is she Mormon, Baptist, Charismatic, Liberal or what? Without specifying this, I question whether she really understands the gospel. She doesn’t explain it at all. Because of this, the book can’t be used for evangelizing Muslims. I’m not questioning the authenticity of her story. I’m questioning whether she really believes the Jesus of the Bible or what men have conjured up to serve their need. A few times the author mentioned how Jesus answered her prayers and that increased her faith in him. It’s like a quid pro quo type of faith, which is false. Mysticism, dreams, and such seem to dominate her Christian experience. Even her family’s conversion seemed too easy (of course, I believe God could certainly do that; He did with me), without much complication, or at least an explanation, even though they were all strict Muslims. I finished the book feeling manipulated to fight for an open-door policy for refugees. I hope I’m mistaken as her amazing story could be used to teach so many of the sufficiency of Christ. Perhaps the fault lies not in her, but in her Co-author and publisher who put the emphasis on the wrong things to make this a good read.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Cheri

    From the beginning of the book to the end, I found Stranger No More by Annahita Parsons nearly impossible to put down. It is difficult to comprehend how a person could endure so much difficulty, abuse, and tragedy. I could feel her struggle and pain throughout, yet she did not over-dramatize any of her experiences (they’re nearly unbelievable as it is). Her story demonstrates the strength of the human spirit even in the most difficult circumstances. From the time she receives a Bible, one can se From the beginning of the book to the end, I found Stranger No More by Annahita Parsons nearly impossible to put down. It is difficult to comprehend how a person could endure so much difficulty, abuse, and tragedy. I could feel her struggle and pain throughout, yet she did not over-dramatize any of her experiences (they’re nearly unbelievable as it is). Her story demonstrates the strength of the human spirit even in the most difficult circumstances. From the time she receives a Bible, one can see the thread of God’s sustaining grace to her and His divine providence, even as her difficulties continued. I found her story to be personally challenging—to believe God for clear miracles and trust Him to reveal Himself to those we seek to help. I wish there were more details at the end of the book about her ministry. I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Paavola

    I found myself staying up late delving into Annahita's life, her struggles, and her quest for in freedom from abuse and dominion as a Muslim woman. Her childhood in Iran was simple and then her world became complex beyond her wildest imaginations. One day she was married and the next, a widow. Her nightmarish world astonished me. This recollection of what she encountered, endured, and then escaped opened my eyes to a world I can barely comprehend. Not that it isn't believable but that in contras I found myself staying up late delving into Annahita's life, her struggles, and her quest for in freedom from abuse and dominion as a Muslim woman. Her childhood in Iran was simple and then her world became complex beyond her wildest imaginations. One day she was married and the next, a widow. Her nightmarish world astonished me. This recollection of what she encountered, endured, and then escaped opened my eyes to a world I can barely comprehend. Not that it isn't believable but that in contrast, my life is vastly different. The trauma she endures to bring her children to safety, to practice her new found faith, and to experience life with choices amazed me. What a remarkable story and woman! I highly recommend this book of hope, suffering, stamina, and faith. I received a copy from Net Galley. I was not compensated for this review. All thoughts are my own. 

  12. 5 out of 5

    Julia

    Stranger No More by Annahita Parsan is a harrowing and powerful story of her life as a Muslim woman and her transformation into a woman of God. Growing up in Iran in the 1970's Annahita Parsan remembers her granny who "prayed in fear to an angry God, not out of faith." The country was in turmoil as the Shah was overthrown and replaced by Khomeini. Two arranged marriages and two children before the age of twenty. Ironically her second marriage was for safety reasons but he turned out to be a monste Stranger No More by Annahita Parsan is a harrowing and powerful story of her life as a Muslim woman and her transformation into a woman of God. Growing up in Iran in the 1970's Annahita Parsan remembers her granny who "prayed in fear to an angry God, not out of faith." The country was in turmoil as the Shah was overthrown and replaced by Khomeini. Two arranged marriages and two children before the age of twenty. Ironically her second marriage was for safety reasons but he turned out to be a monster who beat her. "It is normal for a woman to be beaten by her husband. That is how women learn." Annahita Parsan's story is not an easy read - an abusive marriage, fleeing a regime and living in four countries. Annahita Parsans believed in an angry God who was punishing her. "I couldn't escape the belief that God was angry and this was my punishment." Her husband verbally and physically abused her, giving her the option, "You either live with me or you die." With her children terrified, threatened and abused, something inside broke and Annahita Parsans knew she had to get out. Not knowing a loving God but knowing about prayer, she was "sending up prayers for I-didn't-know-what to I-didn't-know-who." God is a God who longs to answer prayer. Annahita Parsans noticed a group of nuns who had love and peace. She wanted to know their God and became a Christian. "With child-like faith, I prayed expectantly." Life did not become easy overnight. Troubles continued but Annahita Parsans knew God was with her. Prayer became her default setting instead of a sticking plaster setting. Like Job, she praised in the God and the bad times. God was faithful to her as she was to Him. Stranger No More is a difficult read. The violence towards women and children is awful. The suffering and silence is terrible. These women and children are brave souls. We in the west have no idea what they go through but Annahita Parsans story goes a little way to opening our eyes. Bless you Annahita Parsans for all you have suffered. You are a brave survivor and a faithful warrior for God. Thank you for your courage and your faith. I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kate Hendrick

    This incredible book was difficult for me to put down. Though this was a very emotionally challenging read, but it is one I am grateful I had the opportunity to experience. The story was both engaging and inspiring. Beyond the content, I thought the way the story was presented was also very good. It was well-written and very much embraced “show, don’t tell.” I also admire that despite her struggles at the hands of Muslims, she never insulted her former religion or attacked the religion itself. I This incredible book was difficult for me to put down. Though this was a very emotionally challenging read, but it is one I am grateful I had the opportunity to experience. The story was both engaging and inspiring. Beyond the content, I thought the way the story was presented was also very good. It was well-written and very much embraced “show, don’t tell.” I also admire that despite her struggles at the hands of Muslims, she never insulted her former religion or attacked the religion itself. I want to address something I noticed in other reviews: the criticism of how Parsan became a Christian. I understand that people may be concerned because it does seem like her faith is more influenced by answered prayers, miracles and dreams, but there are two things I think we need to consider: This book is not meant as a step-by-step guide on how to convert Muslims, nor is it advocating for a one-size-fits-all approach for how people find Christ; this is her personal experience. There are also aspects she didn’t cover like all her studying in college, conversations she may have had, what she uncovered in Scripture, etc. We shouldn’t make assumptions about her faith journey without knowing the full story. Many of us readers have the privilege of never having experienced the immense suffering she did. Her circumstances were extraordinary so it makes sense that God would work in extraordinary ways. Though there were some phrases that seemed off or seemed like some words got jumbled, overall, it was an incredible read. That being said, I do want to caution readers that this book does contain mentions of domestic violence and sexual assault. Consequently, though I would highly recommend this book, I do recognize that this book could be triggering to some readers. Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Connie

    It’s hard to put into words all the horrific experiences the author was subjected to at such a young age and for so many years. In spite of all that, she accepted Jesus as her savior and has gone on to make a difference in the lives of so many others. Annahita was raised as a Muslim in Iran. She was abused by her second husband, Asghar, in ways that I can’t even begin to imagine. They end up as refugees in Turkey where they are mistreated and jailed. After that, her husband continues to abuse h It’s hard to put into words all the horrific experiences the author was subjected to at such a young age and for so many years. In spite of all that, she accepted Jesus as her savior and has gone on to make a difference in the lives of so many others. Annahita was raised as a Muslim in Iran. She was abused by her second husband, Asghar, in ways that I can’t even begin to imagine. They end up as refugees in Turkey where they are mistreated and jailed. After that, her husband continues to abuse her, and with some help, she finally gets away from him. There are also children involved; they each had a child from previous marriages: she had a son and he had a daughter. Together they had a second daughter. The children were also beaten by Asghar, although Annahita, tried to protect them as much as possible, getting extra beatings, so they would be spared. At times it was difficult to put the book down because you just didn’t know how anything was going to turn out. So much of this kept me flipping pages hoping Annahita and her children would leave. There were times when I felt she should made different decisions, but since I’ve never been in a relationship that was brutal, I can’t honestly know how much her fear caused her to make the choices she did. Ultimately, the book is about overcoming and redemption. From the seeds planted by Americans who even though they could not communicate with her, understand the language she said she spoke and gave her a Bible, to the neighbors who got her to go to a church service, there were people who came into her life and led her to Jesus. And even though her past abuse embarrasses her, she shares her faith and her experiences openly because she felt led by God to do this. This is definitely an eye-opener and worth reading.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    "Stranger No More" is the memoir of a woman who grew up as a not-very-devote Muslim in Iran. She married young only to lose her first, loving husband in an accident. She was left to raise her baby son alone, so she felt sympathy for a man who had lost his wife in an accident and had a young daughter. They married, but he was very abusive to her and the children. Most of the book was about this abusive marriage and why she didn't leave him. They had to be smuggled out of Iran due to his political "Stranger No More" is the memoir of a woman who grew up as a not-very-devote Muslim in Iran. She married young only to lose her first, loving husband in an accident. She was left to raise her baby son alone, so she felt sympathy for a man who had lost his wife in an accident and had a young daughter. They married, but he was very abusive to her and the children. Most of the book was about this abusive marriage and why she didn't leave him. They had to be smuggled out of Iran due to his political views and were imprisoned and tortured in Turkey. They were eventually allowed to move as refugees to Denmark, where she tried to commit suicide and eventually was convinced by friends to leave and hide from her stalker husband. She ended up in Sweden and became a pastor to Muslim refuges. There's more to the story than that (including yet another failed marriage), but only a small part of the story was about her becoming a Christian and her activities since then. It was a hard story to read because she went through so many horrific experiences. The sad part was that most of these experiences might have been avoided if she hadn't been so ruled by emotion. For example, she wanted to return to Iran to visit her dying grandmother even though she was warned (and seemed to know down deep) that her life would be in danger if she did. But she did it anyway, and, happily, God saved her from the worst consequences of that decision. It's clear that God was at work throughout her life, but she also has suffered a great deal due to the choices she made. I received a free ebook review copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook.

  16. 5 out of 5

    The Bookworm

    Ratings: 3.5/5 stars This book left me with so many questions, like why she hated her religion? she said she hated wearing hajab and she hated mullahs, was that the reason she dislike Islam so much? i just wanted to know more of her relationship with her religion but she never explained anything. i assume she disliked her religion coz of her culture and coz of Iran politics but that has nothing to do with the religion. She chose Christianity based on dreams and signs which was kinda stupid, for Ratings: 3.5/5 stars This book left me with so many questions, like why she hated her religion? she said she hated wearing hajab and she hated mullahs, was that the reason she dislike Islam so much? i just wanted to know more of her relationship with her religion but she never explained anything. i assume she disliked her religion coz of her culture and coz of Iran politics but that has nothing to do with the religion. She chose Christianity based on dreams and signs which was kinda stupid, for instance she keeps talking about those miracles and signs that happened to her after she prayed or kissed the bible really struck me as a very weak source of faith like what if her prayers did not answered? would she still had believed in Christianity?... there were many things that made no sense to me: for example, the woman giving her the bible outta nowhere when she knew she was from Iran and basically was a Muslim woman, then why would she give her the bible?... Her husband was a psychopath but somehow the cops never captured him for Domestic Violence instead the cops agreed to sent her with kids to Sweden, like why? couldn't they just capture him or better send him back to Iran?... she mentioned her family being strict Muslims but yet they gave up on Islam very easily which made no sense to me, honestly. Her life before she was saved was heart-breaking though. she suffered a lot at a very young age, sadly. Overall, i did enjoy her journey and i'm glad she found her purpose in life and she's very happy now. i wish her nothing but love and happiness.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    I don't typically read miraculous autobiography stories - too often, they strike me as self-centered and melodramatic. However, this book was equal parts entertaining and educational and I could hardly put it down. Until the final bit, that is. This book details the struggles of Annahita Parsan, an Iranian woman in a bad marriage who left Iran in 1979. The story follows everything she had to go through and her eventual conversion to Christianity. For most of the book, I was hooked. Parsan's story I don't typically read miraculous autobiography stories - too often, they strike me as self-centered and melodramatic. However, this book was equal parts entertaining and educational and I could hardly put it down. Until the final bit, that is. This book details the struggles of Annahita Parsan, an Iranian woman in a bad marriage who left Iran in 1979. The story follows everything she had to go through and her eventual conversion to Christianity. For most of the book, I was hooked. Parsan's story is fascinating and it gave me a good look at Iranian culture and history. Her refugee story intrigued and horrified me and it was enlightening to hear about the struggles refugees have to go through to find asylum. Getting out of an abusive marriage was also terrible to hear about, but a good learning experience. And ultimately, I enjoyed her story of becoming a preacher. But her telling of every miracle that had happened to her and her family directly after she prayed struck me as a weak source of faith (what happens when a prayer isn't answered immediately?) and her telling of it seemed odd in light of the rest of her story. Why was finding Christianity also presented as a trial instead of a blessing? Overall, this was an interesting book that I really enjoyed reading. It's a moving story that's well-told and keeps you hooked.

  18. 5 out of 5

    David McClendon, Sr

    If your heart needs a faith lift, Stranger No More may just well be what the doctor ordered. This book takes us from a journey when the author was very young all the way past the loss of a loving husband, through a terrible second husband who was evil incarnate, and then on to becoming a Christian and later a pastor. You need to hold onto your box of tissues while you read this book. You will hear of strangers who show wonderful kindness and those close to her show unspeakable horrors. We follow h If your heart needs a faith lift, Stranger No More may just well be what the doctor ordered. This book takes us from a journey when the author was very young all the way past the loss of a loving husband, through a terrible second husband who was evil incarnate, and then on to becoming a Christian and later a pastor. You need to hold onto your box of tissues while you read this book. You will hear of strangers who show wonderful kindness and those close to her show unspeakable horrors. We follow her through life in prison, and so much more. You will see God shine through it all and perform many miracles. This is one of those books you will tell others, “You’ve got to read this!” We give Stranger No More all five stars. It is well-written and exciting, in both a good and a bad way. You will hang on the edge of your seat and you will not want to put the book down. Get two copies so you can share. We were sent a complimentary copy of this book. We are under no obligation to write any review, positive or negative. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Greg

    * I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to review a pre-publication copy of this book* “Stranger No More” would be an inspirational book for some readers. Annahita Parsan’s story is a heart-rending tale of a child bride trapped in an abusive marriage in Iran, a country where divorce is almost impossible. When her husband is forced to flee the regime, Annahita is presented with an appalling Sophie’s choice decision - one of her children must be left behind. After a te * I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to review a pre-publication copy of this book* “Stranger No More” would be an inspirational book for some readers. Annahita Parsan’s story is a heart-rending tale of a child bride trapped in an abusive marriage in Iran, a country where divorce is almost impossible. When her husband is forced to flee the regime, Annahita is presented with an appalling Sophie’s choice decision - one of her children must be left behind. After a terrible time in a Turkish prison, the family makes it to Scandinavia, but the abuse continues, and escalates. While there, Annahita receives occasional help from Christians, and she starts to seek help from Jesus. The last quarter of the book is about Parsan’s deepening commitment to Christianity as the solution to her problems. This section will mostly appeal to like-minded readers. I personally found the multiple claims that she makes to be incredible, but one cannot deny her the succour that extricated her from the hair-raising situation she describes earlier.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Kidwell

    
Stranger No More
A Muslim Refugee’s Story of Harrowing Escape, Miraculous Rescue, and the Quiet Call of Jesus
by Annahita Parsan
Thomas Nelson
Biographies & Memoirs , Nonfiction (Adult)
Pub Date 14 Nov 2017
I am reviewing a copy of Stranger No More through Thomas Nelson and Netgalley:
 Stranger No More Is a story of escape, rescue and survival against unbelievable odds. It's a Muslim's women of story of escaping abuse and listening to the quiet call of Jesus. Annahita was an Iranian Woman Who we 
Stranger No More
A Muslim Refugee’s Story of Harrowing Escape, Miraculous Rescue, and the Quiet Call of Jesus
by Annahita Parsan
Thomas Nelson
Biographies & Memoirs , Nonfiction (Adult)
Pub Date 14 Nov 2017
I am reviewing a copy of Stranger No More through Thomas Nelson and Netgalley:
 Stranger No More Is a story of escape, rescue and survival against unbelievable odds. It's a Muslim's women of story of escaping abuse and listening to the quiet call of Jesus. Annahita was an Iranian Woman Who went to Turkey, with only one of her children as they left the country illegally. She endured deplorable conditions in a Turkish Prison. Her husband was an abusive drunk. Annahita, her husband, and her daughter eventually ended up in Istanbul, And then in Denmark and Sweden where the abuse continued. About a year after their arrival in Sweden, Annahita is reunited with her Son Daniel. In time Annahita finds the courage to leave her husband and seek help. I give Annahita five out of five stars! Happy Reading!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Bethany Ricci

    First, I'd like to thank Netgalley for an ARC copy of this book in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. 2.5 Stars, 3 to round up ;) This is a heartbreaking story of an Iranian woman who had to endure multiple hardships and tragedies over and over again. The writing is OK, it was translated so there are a few moments that I believe aren't as clear as they could be but are likely more powerful and clear in the original language. I was interested in this book because I wanted to read a conve First, I'd like to thank Netgalley for an ARC copy of this book in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. 2.5 Stars, 3 to round up ;) This is a heartbreaking story of an Iranian woman who had to endure multiple hardships and tragedies over and over again. The writing is OK, it was translated so there are a few moments that I believe aren't as clear as they could be but are likely more powerful and clear in the original language. I was interested in this book because I wanted to read a conversion story by a former Muslim but most of the book is actually her story before she converted to Christianity. She does mention meeting Christians along the way but I was anticipating a bit more detail as far as her conversion goes. I think maybe less than 20% of the book is actually about her life during/after conversion. But it is a great story of a woman who defied all odds thanks to God himself. *Also, just as courtesy, for those who have been in abusive relationships there could be triggers in this book for you.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    How can you rate a personal experience? The writing is competent, the story is horrific. Iranian women live at the whim of her husbands. A good man is a good life; a bad choice and life is fear, pain and poverty. The legacy of Islam is such that suffering endures even when living in a western country where help is available; women are too paralyzed by fear to act. Her encounter with the Christian God of mercy and love is a relief to the reader as it was to her. Although this part of the book is How can you rate a personal experience? The writing is competent, the story is horrific. Iranian women live at the whim of her husbands. A good man is a good life; a bad choice and life is fear, pain and poverty. The legacy of Islam is such that suffering endures even when living in a western country where help is available; women are too paralyzed by fear to act. Her encounter with the Christian God of mercy and love is a relief to the reader as it was to her. Although this part of the book is simplified, the change in her is complex, and I am glad to know she is offering this change of life to other Muslims captive to an angry and punishing deity.

  23. 5 out of 5

    April

    Finished in 2 days I couldn't put this book down until the end! I really love reading stories about conversions especially from Islam to Christianity, and for some reason have always been fascinated with Iran. Annahita's life and journey are truly miraculous, there is no doubt that God has had His hand upon her, she wouldn't be where she is today otherwise. Reading this book made me cry tears of gratitude for my many blessings and lack of true hardship as well as the freedom to follow Jesus. Thi Finished in 2 days I couldn't put this book down until the end! I really love reading stories about conversions especially from Islam to Christianity, and for some reason have always been fascinated with Iran. Annahita's life and journey are truly miraculous, there is no doubt that God has had His hand upon her, she wouldn't be where she is today otherwise. Reading this book made me cry tears of gratitude for my many blessings and lack of true hardship as well as the freedom to follow Jesus. This book also strengthened my own faith and the belief that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. Thank you, Annahita, for sharing your amazing story. God bless.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Heidi

    Warning: This book can be very difficult at times because of accounts of spousal abuse and of torture. An extremely powerful story of Ms. Parsan's life in Iran, including the death of her first husband and abuse by her second husband followed by a tumultuous time in Turkey before ending up in Scandinavia. Because parts were difficult and I prefer a happy ending I found myself doing internet searches on Ms. Parsan's life to find out where she is now so that I would be prepared to hear what happene Warning: This book can be very difficult at times because of accounts of spousal abuse and of torture. An extremely powerful story of Ms. Parsan's life in Iran, including the death of her first husband and abuse by her second husband followed by a tumultuous time in Turkey before ending up in Scandinavia. Because parts were difficult and I prefer a happy ending I found myself doing internet searches on Ms. Parsan's life to find out where she is now so that I would be prepared to hear what happened next. An incredibly account of how God works all things together for good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Fred

    It’s hard to imagine how Annahita Parsan lived through her experiences. This book is an amazing testimony to the human spirit, to a mother’s love and in the end to redemptive love. At first I was a little dismissive of how she came to understand Jesus, but then I realized that she was coming from an entirely and hugely different upbringing from that of the “normal” Christian. And as I realized this, I felt a little inadequate in my own prayer life and learned a great deal from the author. Thanks It’s hard to imagine how Annahita Parsan lived through her experiences. This book is an amazing testimony to the human spirit, to a mother’s love and in the end to redemptive love. At first I was a little dismissive of how she came to understand Jesus, but then I realized that she was coming from an entirely and hugely different upbringing from that of the “normal” Christian. And as I realized this, I felt a little inadequate in my own prayer life and learned a great deal from the author. Thanks you for writing such a true depiction of your experiences.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Dana Sorrell

    It's interesting. I love getting a look into another culture. Her story is miraculous, but the book has gaps and leaves you missing a year here, a year there and wondering what happened. Also some of her decisions left me wondering "why?" but I guess that's real life. She'd probably feel the same way about a lot of my decisions. It's interesting. I love getting a look into another culture. Her story is miraculous, but the book has gaps and leaves you missing a year here, a year there and wondering what happened. Also some of her decisions left me wondering "why?" but I guess that's real life. She'd probably feel the same way about a lot of my decisions.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Donna C Wheeler

    Following Jesus Sometimes it is nice to know that God is with us through it all. I know my life here in the United States could never compare. We all have test in our lives that either drive is closer to God (where we long to be) or away. I was privileged to see another Christian grow from not knowing Jesus to following Him as He leads.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Herron

    Stranger No More is remarkable true memoir of the author’s path from oppression to hope. Annahita was born into a Muslim home in Iran. She unexpectedly became widowed and was trapped for years in an abusive second marriage that she later ran from. She now uses her life story and past to help others from theirs. This is an truly unforgettable story of the power of God in her life.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Valerie Morris

    I read this book so fast because I was sucked into what this woman went through in real life. It was a great picture into the Iranian and Muslim culture, as well as the journey of rebuilding life as a refugee. I finished this book just saying "wow." The resilience and perspective she has now after going through so much is just amazing and so encouraging. This is a must-read! I read this book so fast because I was sucked into what this woman went through in real life. It was a great picture into the Iranian and Muslim culture, as well as the journey of rebuilding life as a refugee. I finished this book just saying "wow." The resilience and perspective she has now after going through so much is just amazing and so encouraging. This is a must-read!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Judy Foyle

    A Must Read It was absolutely unbelievable that she went through such a horrific life!! While we sit her in complete luxury and only think about what we can do for our Savior. Bless be the Christ that saved her and now is using her to bring others to a relationship with Jesus. I read it in tears! There is so many people to reach for our Savior.

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