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The Road Of Lost Innocence [Paperback]

Somaly Mam
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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The Road Of Lost Innocence The Road Of Lost Innocence 4.7 out of 5 stars (19)
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Book Description

17 Jan 2008
Somaly Mam was abandoned as a baby and looked after by her grandmother until she disappeared. She was then taken into the care of a man she called 'grandfather', but was treated no better than an unpaid servant. sold. Raped at twelve, Somaly was forced to marry at fifteen and then sold to a brothel. She endured years of abuse before managing to escape. The Road of Lost Innocence is a moving account of a traumatic childhood and also the inspirational story of a determined and courageous woman devoted to helping other girls caught up in the illegal sex trade and violent underworld in Cambodia. In 1997 Somaly Mam co-founded AFESIP to combat trafficking in women and children for sexual slavery.

Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Virago (17 Jan 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844083454
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844083459
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 806,660 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


** 'This is a book about how one person's courage can make a difference (SUNDAY BUSINESS POST )

** 'Written deftly and sparely, this story easily transcends the current rash of 'misery (life-stories. Somaly Mam has no truck with sensationalism or self pity: action for change is patently what she is all about.’ )

GOOD HOUSEKEEPING (** ‘There’s a big difference between misery memoir and campaigning autobiography as this traumatic and brave account of Mam’s abandonment into the Cambodian sex slave trade amply demonstrates.’ )

SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY (** 'This activist's memoir, driven by a sense of purpose greater than the self, is related with a haunting directness, in a dignified translation from the original French by Lisa Appignanesi’ )

Book Description

The true story of an orphaned Cambodian girl who spent her childhood in slavery and prostitution.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EVERYONE should read this, especially men ! 1 Dec 2009
This is both shocking and disturbing that this is a reality for many children and girls in the World.

We think we have hardship in the West, for the majority we truly are unthankful and ungrateful and dont know what hardship is! It would help everyone if they had to study something like this at school....would recommend as a captivating read for men women and youth.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing but necessary reading 9 May 2010
Somaly Mam is an amazing woman, and she has written an amazing book. An utterly disturbing and haunting book which tells her own life story as well as focuses on the factors in Cambodia and its neighbouring countries which allow the exploitation, rape, forced prostitution and slavery of women and girls. It is a horrific story but Somaly Mam tells it in gentle terms but also with a certain natural distance. Her ability to overcome the terrible things that were done to her during her childhood and youth is almost as impressive as her present struggle against the corrupt police and central administration in Cambodia.

The situation in Cambodia today is even worse than when Somaly Mam was growing up, so her fight for freedom and respect for the young girls and women held in giant brothels has never been more relevant. Read this book before going on holiday in Cambodia, Thailand or Vietnam!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shocking and moving 20 Mar 2010
This book is written with suitable directness and shocking honesty. As a result, is it extremely moving and, like many others who have read it, i was unable to put it down and read it one day. Despite the disturbing content, you will not be sorry you picked it up. It opens your eyes to the plight of so many unfortunate women and girls, and the story of the writer herself is both touching and inspiring. This book will have a lasting effect on you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Somaly Mam's autobiography is both terrible and terrifying, as we see what members of mankind (parents, traffickers, pimps, government officials) do and are allowed to do with innocent children (even their own). She also paints a bleak picture of her mother country, Cambodia.

Sex trade
The sale of women and female children has always existed in Cambodia.
Parents consider their offspring as money on legs, an asset, as cattle. A 12-year old virgin girl can be sold for 50 to 100 US$ or used as a deposit for a loan or to pay back debt.
Virgins are especially wanted because men believe that raping a virgin will cure them of Aids (instead, the child is infected), keep them strong, lengthen their lifespan and lighten their skin. People consider that keeping a virgin or a minor in a luxurious brothel is a status symbol (!).
Once sold into a brothel, no law, no police, no justice can protect the child. It becomes the slave of a violent pimp: `Now I see girls in brothels with nails hammered into their skull.'

Women's fate
Women are considered as servants. They have to show full obedience to their father and husband. Being beaten is a part of a `normal' life. Marriage becomes a prison.
In general, women don't like to make love and remain passive.

The Cambodians are traumatized by decades of war: `To survive you must be silent.' Nobody can be trusted. People can use your words to betray you.
Actually, the country is in the ban of moral bankruptcy. `Corruption is like a gangrene at the heart of the legal and the police system.' The police are involved in the sex trade as owners, guards, protectors and clients.
The revenues of prostitution equal the annual State budget.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Woman Is Remarkable 11 Jun 2009
I have just read this book and all I can say is, Thank God for women like Somaly Mam. This inspiring, courageous woman is a lifeline for so many young girls, whom without her, would be lying in the gutter. I truly hope that her organisation receives the funding it really deserves and that her work can go on and become an even bigger success. Somaly, you are not only beautiful on the outside, you are a strong caring human being with an even more beautiful heart. Keep fighting girl, you may not win the war but every little girl you rescue is a single battle won. Take care x
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cambodian sex slavery. 22 Dec 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
'When I was sold to a brothel, I was sixteen. Today, there are virgins for sale in every large town. To make sure of their virginity some of the girls are as young as five or six years old.'
They are sold, stolen, raped, beaten and often killed. This is their story told in a beautifully written style, with some photographs, by a Cambodian who escaped the system and has spent the rest of her life trying to help, save and rebuild the lives of her fellow countrywomen, and to tell the world, particularly men, what is actually going on and what it is like for the women.
She says that there are more than 50,000 sex slaves in Cambodia; 1 in 40 girls will be sold into sex slavery.
Writing the book, she says, makes her sick, gives her nightmares; she showers and cries, but 'what can one do?'

Although the subject is horrifying, there is no hint of 'Poor Me!' - the whole book is powerful, informative and inspirational.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST READ 15 Jan 2009
By Rollo
Amazing story and incredible that in today's age of media and wealth nothing more can be done - just shows how one woman can make a difference.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Please read this book
I read this book and was inspired by the courage of this amazing, beautiful and selfless woman. The book is hard to read because of the brutality of the sex slave industry, but do... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Michelle
5.0 out of 5 stars disturbing accounts of sexual slavery and forced child prostitution
There are many disturbing accounts of sexual slavery and forced child prostitution which made it difficult to read because of the grave sadness that these horrible things are... Read more
Published 5 months ago by redeyeblues
5.0 out of 5 stars Emotional
This book was one of my top 5 best books I have read. I cried my eyes out. It is touching and insightful. It is also inspirational to read.
Published 10 months ago by J. Micallef
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart and Soul searching
How we as human beings can treat other in war and peace though no fault of our own. Thought provoking.
Published 11 months ago by Mr R. King
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended
A great read, sorrowful, shocking in parts. Small pre-pubecent girls sold or kidnapped and used as prostitutes. Read more
Published 15 months ago by elldeetee
4.0 out of 5 stars A candid account of an uncomfortable subject to many people
This is an autobiography that would give one a heavy heart. I have had it on my shelf for a while. The subject matter is not a pleasant one - it is not for enjoyment that I want to... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Penguin
4.0 out of 5 stars Eye opening
Very good and eyeopening book. Sad and moving story. Swallowed it in one sitting while traveling in Cambodia. Would definitely recommend to a friend.
Published on 6 Mar 2012 by tuskawa
5.0 out of 5 stars Not graphic at all.
I read this book in just two short reading sessions.
However, I'm very glad I did so. The book thoughfully describes the author's reclaimed life, and in no way could be... Read more
Published on 14 Dec 2011 by ED46
1.0 out of 5 stars Beware of fakes
In the next years and hopefully in the next months you will see that the women Called Somaly Mam is not exactly the saintly savior of poor prostitutes as described in this book. Read more
Published on 24 Sep 2010 by Jean Mathis
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