>> Thursday, June 23, 2011
by Minfong Ho
Just because a book isn't well-known doesn't mean it's not well-written.
The Stone Goddess is one of the most powerful, moving books I have ever read. It really left a deep impact on me with the story of a family in Cambodia caught up in a cruel regime.
When the Khmer Rouge takes over Cambodia, Nakri and her siblings are sent to a brutal labor camp where they are treated little better than animals. They are forced to work hard labors on empty stomachs, and are harshly punished for the slightest disobedience. The only thing that keeps them going is their love and passion for dance. And even when it finally all ends, the surviving family members must regroup and enter the safe, but unfamiliar territory of America.
The most terrifying, heart-wrenching thing about this story was that it was all true. The Sokha family may have been fictional, but the terrible things they endured actually happened. It was an emotional roller coaster, filled with love, loss, hope and sorrow. This book had me sobbing.
But despite all this, the Sokha family moved on. It was hard but they did it. And that itself was a triumph.
It also really changed my view of life. All of my problems and my worries are minuscule to what the Cambodians went through. I have never known starvation and loss. They were so grateful for things I take for granted, like safety, a home, and enough food to eat. It really puts things in perspective.
Yet beneath all the sorrow, there is an undercurrent of hope which not only makes it a thought-provoking read, but a satisfying one. Like all books, it wasn't perfect, but it sure came close to it. It was an amazing book and worth every printed page.
Objectionable Content: None
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A Single Shard-Linda Sue Park
Esperanza Rising-Pam Munoz Ryan