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A Blessing over Ashes: The Remarkable Odyssey Of My Unlikely Brother
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A Blessing over Ashes: The Remarkable Odyssey Of My Unlikely Brother

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  77 ratings  ·  12 reviews
From a writer of insight, wit, and compassion
comes the remarkable story of a boy from the
killing fields of Cambodia who irrevocably
changed the life of an American family.
A Blessing Over AshesIn clear vivid prose, Adam Fifield recaptures the snowy night when he, at the age of eleven, along with his mother, father, and younger brother, waited to welcome fifteen-year-old Soeu
...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published June 20th 2000 by William Morrow (first published 2000)
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Keith McCormick
Very powerful. I read this book during a recent trip to Cambodia with a Cambodian friend. That fact certainly magnified my reaction, but I would have found this book powerful under any circumstances.

Something that other reviewers have not empahsized is that the Cambodian brother in the story, Soeuth, was just a young child of 7 and is alone during his years in the slave camps. Even if you are familiar with the Pol Pot period you will be deeply moved by the details of day to day life of someone o
...more
Phayvanh
After reading this book, I could see a lot of my parents in it. The way they unyieldingly through the years sent money back to their families, hoping that their success could transfer somehow to the rural lives of the individuals they'd left behind. I could see also my older brother in here--how he'd have a lifetime's worth of trauma and suffereing to make up for. And i realize that happiness is something one settles upon early in life. and I regeret sometimes that Me and my little borther had e ...more
Elizabeth Kiem
Beautifully understated account of two young men's very different lives and their efforts to keep them cohesive. Fifield is spare on the emotion, laying deeply profound concepts just under the surface of a straightforward narrative - the book is a taut minefield of introspection.
Rachael
I loved this book. I bought it at the airport in Siem Reap, Cambodia as we were leaving. I believe that having just been in Cambodia when I started reading the book made it even more poignant. It is the heart wrenching story of a 14 year old Cambodian boy named Soeuth, who has survived the killing fields of Cambodia and is adopted by an American family. The book comes across as being very truthful, looking at flaws and strengths of both the cultures that Soeuth is grappling with. The part that I ...more
Joe Weir
Fantastic read, giving an insight into how much we in the Western world do not appreciate how lucky we have been in our circumstances. Read it in 4 hours. Couldn't put it down.
Filomena Abys-Smith
This is a memoir of not only the human spirit willingness to survive but to live. The descriptions are so vivid that you are pulled into the pages reliving the horrors of war and the joys of love. A memoir that tugs at your heart and gives you hope. After reading this book I felt fortunate to have lived the good life. I recommend this book to all but especially to those that are feeling down on their luck. Filomena Abys-Smith Author of A Bit of Myself
Lulu
Wow. From the first page, this book PULLED ME IN. I could not stop reading all day and it took me less than 24 hours to finish this memoir. I just finished it and wow, words can't describe how much I enjoyed the book. The only thing was that I wish Adam put pictures of his family and a map of Cambodia would be nice. But other than that, I have no complaints. Simply heartwrenching.
Karen
Memoir by brother of Cambodian named Soethe who came to live with a Vermont family. Touching and well written but in some parts I wished it had a bit more insight and depth. Overall still a really good read.
Mailelou
This book was fascinating reading, you are compelled to be grateful for the life you live after realizing the struggles across the world. Would recommend this book.
Julia
Interesting enough, for what it is. Not poorly written, not fascinating. Decent fill-the-time reading, but I won't remember the title two months from now.
Jae
Good book, tough life. Disappointed that the memoir did not go further past the brothers trip together.
Beth Gorski
Amazing true story. Makes you appreciate living in the USA.
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