Must Read: First They Killed My Father by Loung Ung

I’ve never been so fully engaged in a book. The last one was perhaps Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood.

The parts of the book touching on the fear and pain of losing a father made me cry. I can’t recall the last time I cried reading. The movie ‘Castaway’ made me sob uncontrollably, but no book I’ve read recently or that I can recall, has had that effect.

I was riveted throughout and loved that the story was told through the perspective of a child from age 5 to 8.

I was born the same year as the author, but I lived a charmed life in comparison to her unimaginable suffering. I am certain I would not have survived.

As a child of the 70’s I did hear the words Vietnam and War a lot on the radio that my dad always had turned on to BBC. But I had not much of a clue about war or about Cambodia. I was clueless about politics.

I now learn that there was a secret bombing carried out in Cambodia for years to eliminate the Viet Cong. The result of that was the emergence of the brutal Khmer Rouge and the extreme suffering and genocide of millions. I do also recall Anthony Bourdain’s anger over the bombing ordered by Henry Kissinger.

It makes me feel guilt for all the children that suffer. It is truly a miracle, how Loung Ung survived and is now a thriving activist.

I have newfound respect for Angelina Jolie as well for helping to bring this story to light with the movie she produced and which I am keen to watch yet. I’m lucky that it’s available on Netflix which my aunty gifted me.

About bookjunkie

Blogging about life in Singapore & recently cancer too.
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