I have a long held interest in the Cambodian genocide and was thrilled to see this book come across my path. This is absolutely the book I needed on this topic. It is a first hand look at the history of Cambodia, told from the inside and told from the perspective of one of the many who were persecuted and the few who survived. It is an important book. So many people are well versed and horrified by the Nazi genocides, but there is far less press on what happened under Khmer rule. It is almost unfathomable that it happened *again* and in such recent history and that it is not a common topic that is discussed when referring to monumentally transformative historical events. I AM knowledgeable about this topic (to a degree) and even I didn't know how advanced the Cambodian culture was prior to the Khmer taking over. It also felt very relevant to me, as a US citizen, with the political climate over the past several years in this country. It feels like a warning, in a sense, of what could happen and how it sneaks up on you when you become complacent about your freedoms. Not only is this book incredibly important in a historical sense, but it is extraordinarily well written. It is engrossing and polished. It is paced well, yet feels intimate. It is informative without being too "in your face." And the photos bring it all home and put a face to the story. This is a five star read if you are a fan of non fiction, memoirs, Cambodian history....or even if you're not and just like a good story. Wow. Thank you to Bookish First and the publisher for making this book available for review.