War is an aspect that was common between different communities, regions and nations. This was attributed to the struggle for resources or power. Cambodia is no difference as it found itself in the midst of war after Chinese launched war against Vietnam and Cambodia. Many however did not make it but there were those who survived to tell the fateful events that happened.

Summary of the book

The writer of this book clearly describes all the events that happened in Cambodia. The writer of this book was however young as the time the war took place. This book has been reviewed as fiction but the writer clearly explains the fateful events that she went through. The writer explains about their well-to-do life which was ruined immediately the war began. The writer explains how her family was divided and they were dispersed to different directions. The writer explains the death of her parents and sibling and hard life that she went through as a little girl. The writer goes ahead to explain that the mental torture she underwent affected her during her growth. The writer explains the harsh conditions she faced in the camps where she worked as a laborer. The writer explains how greed for power led many to lose their lives. The writer explains that their leader was backed by other nations thus many citizens lost their lives fighting for their land. The writer tries to bring the aspect of peace and what struggle for power can lead to. Loung Ung explains the economic turmoil that the people went through as they regained after the war.

Content of the book

The contents of the book start from the writer's background. The writer talks about her family. She tells about good life that they lived. The writer's father was a wealthy man and worked as a teacher. She goes ahead to talk about good life that they had before the war spilled out. The writer talks about conditions that she underwent as a laborer and the torture she faced to find peace. The writer basically frames her family as that of the middle income despite her father being wealthy enough as compared to the statement given.

The writer, however, talks about the war that broke out in Cambodia but she talks an inch of the war that happened. The writer does not explain all the events of the war that happened. She surrounds the writing on the events that her family went through and the death of her family. The writer surrounds the writing only on her life and family.

The book also contains some of the secrets that the writer was told by her dad about the Americans but this brings controversy among readers as to how she can remember these secrets. The writer goes ahead to explain and evict her father from any wrongdoing and the involvement in the war. The writer does not concentrate on the events of the war totally as she explains that around 1975 Cambodia was at peace and recovering from the war. The writer revolves around her family as at one point she explains that her uncle, a journalist, was among those who criticized the government for corruption and injustice. The writer explains how the uncle was brutally killed as they tried to fight for justice.


The contents of this book do not represent all the events of the war that escalated in Cambodia. This book is not that worthwhile and the writer seems to be very young at the time these events happened. All the events of the war are missing in her writing indicating that she wrote more of fiction rather than the real events. Recommendation of this book, however, would not give the reader the full contents of the war that escalated in Cambodia during the 1960's and 1970's. This book indicates the negative effects of the war towards the common people and negative effects of corruption and injustice in a country. This book would be recommended for a college course but on the aspects of negative effects of the war, corruption and injustice.