Kayla's Reviews > The Road of Lost Innocence: The True Story of a Cambodian Heroine

The Road of Lost Innocence by Somaly Mam
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Apr 14, 2012

bookshelves: 12th-grade, advisory, third-quarter

The Road of Lost Innocence: The True Story of a Cambodian Heroine
by Somaly Mam
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published September 9th 2008 by Spiegel & Grau (first published January 1st 2005)
ISBN 0385526210

Prostitution is something condemned in our world. Women who are paid for their services are looked down upon and shunned. Yet, most people don't realize the extent to which this industry has gone to create a worldwide market. Human trafficking is something that most people in the states take as a third world issue and although like in Somaly Mam's book it happens in less developed countries, still happens in our own.

Somaly Mam's life in Cambodia was never easy. Orphaned at before she could remember, she always found her own way, kept herself alive. She was never someone to take her life the way it was given to her so it's no surprise that she would find a way out of the life she didn't want. From living on her own, to being sold to an older man who beat her to being forced into prostitution, Somaly was both physically and mentally abused. Her experiences taught her that she was worthless, a dark skinned, small woman meant nothing in her country. She was frowned upon and laughed at. Soon after being forced into prostitution, she fought back only to be beaten a nd threatened and scared. She learned that it was better to tolerate and endure than to fight back so she succumbed to what she thought was her fate. But meeting people who showed her compassion and a way out ignited the fight she once had. Somaly found her way out, found people who cared for her and ultimately found her real fate. After getting out and off the market, she realizes that she's meant to help others who want out, to get out and ultimately have a safe place to grow up. As Somaly's efforts to change and eliminate the prostitution market in Cambodia and surrounding areas, the market itself is changing in a way that's hard for her to keep up. Younger girls are being kidnapped and sold and Somaly does her best to save them.

Somaly Mam truely is a heroine in her own right. Unlike the thousands of women caught in very similar situations Somaly managed to keep her head higher and know that she was capable of better things. I've wanted to read this book for a long time and I couldn't put it down just because of how badly I wanted to find out what Somaly would do next. She saved so many women and her words made me want to learn and do more as soon as I read the last page. I would recommend this to anyone in middle school and above because although the level of reading is not that difficult the content may be hard for younger people to understand.
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