First They Killed My Father: Book #3

First They Killed My Father

Read: July 15 – 19, 2013

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I read this one quickly. I was extremely drawn in the whole time. Almost completely unaware of the events that transpired in Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge this book was both riveting and educational.

The events that transpired at the hands of the Khmer Rouge, that led to the death of close to a quarter of Cambodia’s population were devastating and this book does an excellent job at bringing them to light.

The entire book is written as a narrative in the voice of the author as a child (she was 5 when the events start). I personally found this choice to be perfect for myself as a reader. It personalizes the events and you can’t help but feel as if you are there experiencing everything as well. The story is truly devastating.

The one criticism I have is in regards to the author’s choice to write it in the voice of her as a child (yes, I know I just said it was a good choice, but hear me out). The days and events are described in such detail that it seems to me to be impossible that she would be able to remember that many things as  five to nine year old child. Plus its well documented how sketchy our memories are from traumatic experiences. I can’t help but wonder how much of the story has been ‘dramatized’.

Other than that it was an excellent book. If I struggle to put a book down its definitely a good sign, and this was definitely one of those.   Even though the tone throughout the book is one of hope, be warned that it is very depressing and sad at times.

Note: This post is part of my 26 Books in 26 Weeks Goal.