LUCKY CHILD: A Daughter of Cambodia Reunites with the Sister She Left Behind. Loung Ung, Author. HarperCollins $ (p) ISBN. Shop and Purchase Lucky Child: A Daughter of Cambodia Reunites with the Sister She Left Behind (P.S.). This is the 2nd book that I’ve read in. In her first book, the best-selling First They Killed My Father, Loung Ung recalled her Cambodian childhood under the violent reign of the Khmer Rouge army. As.
After enduring years of hunger, deprivation, and devastating loss at the hands of the Khmer Rouge, ten-year-old Loung Ung became the “lucky child,” the sibling chosen to accompany her eldest brother to America while her one surviving sister and two brothers remained behind.
In this poignant and elegiac memoir, Loung recalls her assimilation into an unfamiliar new culture while struggling to overcome dogged memories of violence and the deep scars of war. In alternating chapters, she gives voice to Chou, the beloved older sister whose life in war-torn Cambodia so easily could have been hers. Highlighting the harsh realities of chance and circumstance in times of war as well as in times of peace, Lucky Child is ultimately a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and to the salvaging strength of family bonds.
Americans would do well to read it. Lucky Child is captivating, deep and delightful. Lucky Child is part adventure, part history and, in large part, a love story about family. Ung lectures extensively, appears regularly in the media, and has made more than thirty trips back to Cambodia. She is also the author of Lucky Child: Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would un like to suggest updates through seller support?
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There was a problem filtering reviews right lloung. Please try again later. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. Considering the fact that Loung Ung wrote this book from her perspective as a child during the Cambodian civil war, I was able to easily breeze through the book. It was able to make me question, think critically and feel several different emotions within just a couple hundred pages. Louung loved and still love this book so much that I recommended it to practically everyone I know. Loved it and would most likely read it again.
It has been more than 40 years since the black-uniformed columns of the Khmer Rouge rolled into Phnom Penh and changed the life of a 5-year old girl named Loung Ung forever.
With the benefit of distance, it may be all too easy to dismiss the horrors of that era to a distant corner of memory, or to brush it off as a bizarre aberration of history.
That would be a mistake. Communism as an ideology may be bankrupt, but the specter of Utopian extremism lives on. Many young men and women who flock to ISIS today are fired by the same misguided zealotry, the same disdain for common luckyy decency in the name of a supposedly better world, that brought young men and women into the folds of the Khmer Rouge 40, 50, and 60 years ago.
They wrote beautifully, if somewhat naively, of a return to innocent rural simplicity. They impressed their students with their erudition, simplicity of living, and apparent dedication. How can kng earnest people do any lpung Many will find out at the cost of their lives. Loung Ung’s autobiography is a moving memorial to all the lives lost in that deranged quest for Utopia.
In the eyes of the Angkar the Khmer Rouge “organization”liquidating the members chils the old regime is but a necessary prelude to building a society of true believers.
The starry-eyed school-teachers of yesteryear who dreamed of an agrarian paradise had become totally out of touch.
And with the absolute power they wielded, nobody was about to tell them otherwise. The result was mass famine as local cadres starved the people to turn in their production quota.
As millions perished, the top leadership witch-hunted for yng and berated their subjects for lack of revolutionary fervor. Ung’s book is full of vivid descriptions and keen observations that bring the vicissitudes of that era poignantly to life. Many passages are naturally cinematic.
The author was young, but her memory is sharp. Her colourful description of early ‘s Phnom Penh with its many exotic to an American audience sights, sounds, and colors is an adventure in unt – The arrival of the KR in Phnom Penh.
A moment of chi,d historical drama, but perhaps the author was too young to remember the details. This is where Chanrithy Him’s dramatic cbild offers some truly memorable moments; – Getting through the KR check points on the way out of Phnom Penh, as KR soldiers systematically rounded up all former members of the old regime.
Most would be executed within days; – A widow who took refuge with luckg author’s family, tenderly talking to the baby that she carried with her everywhere, refusing to accept that he was already dead; p. Even as a 7-year old she dreamed of the day when she’d have the power to come back to look for the bullies and “beat them until she was tired”.
She vowed never to forget. Her sweet-natured sister couldn’t understand why she wanted to retain such horrible memories. But as Loung explained, she needed the anger, the thoughts of retribution, to fill the bottomless sadness in her soul.
I’ve always said that anger, or at least righteous indignation, is a much under-rated emotion. It needs to be controlled.
It needs to be properly-channeled. But it’s the juice that drives much social progress. Finally, a few observations about the author’s family background.
A few readers took offense at the author’s perceived lack of sensitivity. Perhaps she took too much pride in her family’s light skin, high status, and economic prosperity. Reading her account of her family’s encounter with the villagers in the KR base areas, it’s quite evident there was much class resentment and perhaps plain-old jealousy on the part of the country folk. Even to this day many villagers in the old KR base areas seem to recall that era wistfully – Pol Pot’s cremation site seems to have become something of a shrine.
No doubt the villagers didn’t enjoy the regimentation, but it was a topsy-turvy time when poor people like themselves could feel superior to the city folk who probably looked down on them.
Not that the Khmer Rouge cadres themselves were particularly holy, of course.
Book Review – Lucky Child by Loung Ung
Plenty were mere opportunists. The Khmer Rouge village chief who lorded over the “new luckyy ate better, dressed better, and was apparently not above trading extra food for gold at exorbitant prices. Ironically his corruption probably saved some lives, because life definitely got a lot harder after Angkar tightened things up and sent more soldiers into the villages. As for Pol Pot, the young Loung Ung knew almost nothing about him, except that he was “fat” in a country of living skeletons.
Those readers who are interested in how Loung and her siblings fared after the war may be interested in reading her second book, Lucky Child. While some readers may find the events in her later life less dramatic, I found it equally fascinating to read about her endeavors to come to terms with her past while trying to make a new life for herself in America.
Like many children from similar backgrounds, she went through a phase when she attempted to cut all ties with her past to the point of deliberately avoiding contact with her siblings and plunged headlong into mainstream American youth culture. As she got older, she discovered that she could only conquer the ghosts of her past by embracing her roots, and chipd rise above her personal losses and petty personal vengeance by making them her life-long cause.
While my own life experiences were nowhere nearly as dramatic as Luong’s, there are enough similarities that what she wrote rang true to me and resonated. Well worth a read. I can’t say that I have ever felt I was living history by doing so. It was a profound experience. The book, chhild beautifully written in first person, tells a harrowing story of a small girl whose bravery surpasses anyone I have known or read about.
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