Beautiful Hero: How We Survived the Khmer Rouge
With only half a canteen of water and one baby bottle, a family of eight fought for their lives in the killing fields and land mines of Cambodia.
Heroes emerge in the most unlikely places, under the most dangerous conditions. They are often the most ordinary people facing extraordinary times. Surrounded by unimaginable adverse forces, one woman would ultimately lead her family to survive. Beautiful Hero is an autobiographical narrative told from a daughter's perspective;
Over two million people, (a third of the country's population) fell victim to a devastating genocide in Cambodia. The rise of the Khmer Rouge posed not merely a single challenge to survival, but rather a series of life-and-death obstacles that required constant circumvention, outmaneuvering, and exceptional fortitude from those few who would survive the regime intact.
Beautiful Hero suspensefully unravels the layers of atrocity and evil unleashed upon the people, providing a clear view of this horrific and violent time of the Cambodian revolution.
The story highlights the most basic impulses of man: good vs. evil, individual vs. group, democracy vs. tyranny, and life vs. death. It is the ultimate story of love, sacrifice, survival, and redemption. It reaffirms the good in humanity by showing how one family lived and survived with grace and dignity despite being pushed to the limits.
Plot/Idea: 10 out of 10
Originality: 10 out of 10
Prose: 7 out of 10
Character/Execution: 10 out of 10
Overall: 9.25 out of 10
Plot: From the opening scene, the danger and love in Lau's memoir is engrossing. Readers will want to keep turning the pages!
Prose: Lau writes with strong clarity and emotion, though the narrative could be much more fluid.
Originality: This memoir of survival tells a story rarely heard, and it hums with details unique to Lau's family.
Character Development: The large cast of characters is full of striking, well rendered people involved in complex family relationships, made all the more complicated by great suffering.
Date Submitted: June 14, 2017