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

First They Killed My Father by Loung Ung
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's review
Oct 21, 2008

it was amazing
Recommended for: Everybody

When reading First They Killed My Father, by Loung Ung, the audience is exposed to a compelling book filled with adventure and tragedy. It is about a girl who lives a fairly comfortable life in Phnom Penh with her parents and siblings. When the Khmer Rouge takes over Cambodia, her family is forced to flee into separate labor camps. As the story progresses, it is startling to comprehend that the book is actually a memoir. This is her story.
This book not only gives insight into Loung’s personal life, but also provides background information about the Khmer Rouge so it is easy to understand. It is interesting to read the book, because it is told from her memories of when she was five. This book covers a span of five years; from when she was five to ten. There are some Cambodian words incorporated into the story, which gives the dialogue more style. The plot is always full of suspense, because the audience does not know what’s going to happen next and who is going to die.
Some weaknesses in the novel are that it is about memories of when she was five. It is hard to believe that Loung remembered everything when she was five in vivid detail. Then again, such a journey can never be forgotten. The book does not elaborate when it refers to “taking people away.” The people in the village were disappearing one by one, and some were taken by soldiers. Being taken away by soldiers basically means that the person is going to get killed. The author does not elaborate on these small details, but it helps the readers get thinking.
The novel was the best memoir that I have ever read. It was mixed with emotions and feelings. I would recommend this book to everybody. The book will give the audience completely different outlook on life. Once you read it, you won’t regret it.
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