The Road of Lost Innocence
The way I was going to write this review has changed dramatically in the past thirty minutes. You see, I logged onto Goodreads to get publishing details and was overwhelmed with the comments declaring Somaly Mam a fraud. The oddest thing though, was that to me, it kind of made sense...
This book is an "autobiography" of a woman's childhood and life in Cambodia where she claimed to have been sold into prostitution as a child. Reading it was heartbreaking; to know that girls my nieces' ages were being victimised and tortured the way they were was a shattering thought. Samaly then went onto to describe her long journey to recovery and how she built refuges for women and children who had suffered the same fate as her.
I felt throughout this book that she was playing dumb. All of the incredible things she claimed to do require a great deal of intelligence and I kept waiting and waiting for something to click in her that enabled her to become like this. But it never did, which left me confused and thinking that maybe she was just a very simple woman who received a lot of help. However, upon reading many articles that outlined her deceit and fabricated story, I realised that she was indeed the very smart woman I thought. So smart that she purposely portrayed herself as someone innocent, small and naive. Someone everyone would pity and want to help.
I do not believe that Samaly is a bad person who lied the way she did only for fame, but I choose to hope that she used her position to shed light on the horrible state of human trafficking in Cambodia and across South East Asia. Perhaps she thought that people wouldn't listen to her if she herself wasn't a victim. I'm not sure, but I have no doubt that this book is indeed not at all an autobiography.
Rate: - I feel as though I am not able to give an unbiased rating now that I know this book is mostly built on a lie.
Pages: 182 pages
Genre: Adult Non-Fiction
Acquired from: Brisbane Bookfair