'When Broken Glass Floats' is, on the very face of it, another grueling Khmer Rouge story - a real life tragic story about life under history's most brutal regime. In this it is a brilliant success - with vivid characters that seem as real as they were, this is a very human account of a breathtaking story.
But, in actual fact, When Broken Glass Floats seems to go beyond these bounds: by constantly talking about K'mai religion and culture you come to appreciate not just the immense suffering, but also the way in which a K'mai person, with their unique cultural outlook, came to view the events as they unfolded. With constant information about and references to K'mai language, beliefs, stories, folklore and social structures, the full effect of the events upon such a beautiful country can really be realised.
Whilst many books tell of stories under the Khmer Rouge in a clinical, culturally sterilised fashion, this author keeps her heritage with her at every step. For this reason, I recommend it as the best personal story to read, whether you've read everything else on the era already, or absolutely nothing at all.