My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Warning: This is about as depressing a book as one can imagine reading. It is told from the author’s perspective as a child during the Khmer Rouge period of Cambodia’s history. Her father had been in the Lon Nol government, and this made life particularly perilous for their family. It follows the family from the day they are forced to leave their comfortable upper-middle-class existence in Phnom Penh through her move to the US. In between, you are shown what its like to be starving (literally), to be a child separated from one’s family, and to see a long string of man’s inhumanity to man.
While it is a sad story, it is well-written and candid.
I was often reminded about what Viktor Frankl wrote (much more eloquently than my paraphrase), that the sad fact that survivors have to live with is the knowledge that the best did not survive. The author tells of the actions that she was not proud of that she was driven to by starvation and life as an orphan.
I highly recommend this book, but be prepared to be sad.