Published: October 12, 2010
Author: Loung Ung
Synopsis: From a childhood survivor of the Camdodian genocide under the regime of Pol Pot, this is a riveting narrative of war crimes and desperate actions, the unnerving strength of a small girl and her family, and their triumph of spirit.
One of seven children of a high-ranking government official, Loung Ung lived a privileged life in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh until the age of five. Then, in April 1975, Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge army stormed into the city, forcing Ung’s family to flee and, eventually, to disperse. Loung was trained as a child soldier in a work camp for orphans, her siblings were sent to labor camps, and those who survived the horrors would not be reunited until the Khmer Rouge was destroyed.
Harrowing yet hopeful, Loung’s powerful story is an unforgettable account of a family shaken and shattered, yet miraculously sustained by courage and love in the face of unspeakable brutality.
Opinion: This book hit me on so many levels. I found myself having feelings I have never felt whilst reading a book. It really makes you think and consider how quickly life can change. How you can have everything and then one day have nothing. Never take your family for granted because they may be all you have left one day.
I think I may have enjoyed it more than I did if it had been from the viewpoint of an adult versus a child. That does not make the book any less though that it was a recount of the events that happened to her at such a young age. It is definitely interesting to see how much she remembered and the effect that it has had on her throughout her life.
This book is an autobiography. It is not fiction. It is not fake. It is real life events from a young girls point of view during the Cambodian genocide. There are events in this story that are hard to swallow. This is real. This happened. This is history.
My Overall Rating: ★★★★★