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October 13, 2017

Review: Beautiful Hero by Jennifer Lau

by Donna Huber

This is an awesome story of survival. If you enjoy world literature, historical stories, or memoirs, then Beautiful Hero is a definite must-read.
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Beautiful Hero
October 2016; Lotus Book Group
 978-0998079899; ebook, print (364 pages)
 world literature, memoir, history
In school, my history classes rarely made it past World War II, so the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia was something I had never heard of. Beautiful Hero by Jennifer Lau is an eye-opening tale of one family's struggle for survival during the communist take-over of Cambodia in 1975 - 1979.

Author Jennifer Lau was only 5 years old when she and her family were forced from their home and relocated to the countryside where they were basically sentenced to hard labor on rice farms.

This emotional memoir is a compelling read. I couldn't put it down. I read this while I was without power during Hurricane Irma and I was racing against the setting sun to get through as much of the book as possible. While I knew ultimately the author survives, she has a large extended family and with the harrowing conditions in which they lived, death often seemed to be only a page away.

Beautiful Hero is everything a great memoir should be - emotional, informative, inspiring. If you are like me and have little or no understanding of this period of world history, there is some historical information provided, but it is largely a look at the harsh reality of this one family. As this also occurs on the heels of our involvement in Vietnam, questions of how the U.S. influenced this course of events swam through my head.

Actually, the book is full of discussion possibilities and there is a helpful discussion guide at the end. If you are part of a book club that reads women's fiction, memoirs, historical stories, and/or world literature then you really should consider Beautiful Hero for next read.

Buy Beautiful Hero at Amazon
Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour

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