Vanessa's Reviews > First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers

First They Killed My Father by Loung Ung
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A riveting but harrowing account of a young Cambodian girl who's innocent idyllic childhood is swiftly obliterated by the invasion of the Khmer Rouge.

Loung at 5 years old and one of seven children shares her traumatic story of the 4 years spent under the terrifying Khmer Rouge reign trying to survive after her family are forced to flee their home in Cambodia's capital Phnom Penh in 1975, it details all the devastating hardships from being forced to live in a labour camp, starvation, disease and learning to become a child soldier, and then navigating dangerous landmine terrain to reunite with her family. The story is relentless, the bravery of these kids having to endure hunger, being separated from parents and siblings watching some of her family being taken away only to be led to their death, it reminds you that no child should ever have to deal with the devastation of genocide, the loss of human life for political purposes is truly one of the hardest things to read about. The book reminds me how lucky I am to have been immune to such horrors in my lifetime but it's also equally important to hear these stories and learn about the true testament of the human spirit, the courage and the fight to live and survive is truly amazing. What an amazing account, and what a brave, strong and tenacious girl she was, many people died and weren't so lucky to escape.

I'm so glad Loung lived to share her tale and how she was able to find a purpose with her mission in life to educate and inform by becoming a human rights activist and also the national spokesperson for the Campaign for a Landmine-Free World.
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Reading Progress

October 4, 2015 – Shelved
October 4, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
August 16, 2017 – Started Reading
September 2, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-12 of 12 (12 new)

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Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader Wonderful review, Vanessa! This is definitely a book I need to read.


message 2: by Jaline (new)

Jaline Terrific review, Vanessa! Somehow I missed this yesterday so I'm glad I back-tracked through my feed once more before supper :)


message 3: by Cheri (new)

Cheri What a wonderful review, Vanessa! Contemplating this one...


message 4: by Bianca (new)

Bianca Excellent review. I'm staying away from harrowing.


Vanessa Thank you Jennifer, it was hard to read but worthwhile x


Vanessa Thanks Jaline. It's hard sifting through all the reviews on my feed but I try to log in every day to keep up to date with everyone :)


Vanessa Thanks Cheri!!


Vanessa Thanks Bianca, it is indeed harrowing, I understand if you can't face up to it. Sad part of history, hard to comprehend..


message 9: by Brina (new)

Brina Wow, Vanessa. This sounds like a harrowing yet important read.


Lindsay - Traveling Sister Wonderful review Vanessa! 😊


Vanessa Thanks Brina. Yes it's good to hear a story from a survivor who lived through it, so many lives lost, it's hard to believe it happened during my lifetime 😞 so sad


Vanessa Thank you Lindsay!!


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