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I read this book about a month ago and I still turn it over in my mind. Written from the perspective of a bright 5-7 year old girl during the Khmer Rouge reign in Cambodia, it is honest, remarkable and haunting. It is a story of survival but not one of optimistic triumph. The author is completely real as she lets the reader into a time I knew little about and found my heart broken again for what so many people, especially children have gone through at the hands of a corrupt government. The writing was fantastic. The horror of what was happening, told through the eyes of a young girl, surprisingly kept the tragedy a bit more palatable. Though it was non-fiction, I found myself immersed in the story and unable to put it down. I looked for any excuse in order to read and finished the book in just a few days. Clean. Highly recommended.
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.