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“All the business of war, and indeed all the business of life, is to endeavour to find out what you don’t know from what you do.” – Sir Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington

"My dear. A lack of compassion can be as vulgar as an excess of tears. "
- Violet in Downton Abbey

"By perseverance the snail reached the ark. "
- Charles Spurgeon

"Not all those who wander are lost."

28 januari 2017

BOEK: "Beautiful Hero: How We Survived The Khmer Rouge"

 "Beautiful Hero: How We Survived The Khmer Rouge tells how a family of eight with six children (ranging in age from six months to thirteen years old) made it through hell and back again, and narrows survival skills down to the most basic of needs: water and food. There have been other autobiographical accounts of life under the Khmer Rouge; but Beautiful Hero departs from most in its focus on one woman's courage (the author's mother) and how this literally made the difference between life and death for her entire family.

Sagas of family survival are typically thought-provoking, evocative, and compelling. In this case, they also assume a gritty, close examination of the life of a woman whose name translates to 'beautiful hero' in Chinese, and whose destiny seemed predetermined. ... Few lives can claim to hold such a clear purpose: Meiyeng's ability to solve problems and survive under impossible circumstances came from a steely fortitude developed in early childhood and fostered by life's slings and arrows as an adult.

Readers shouldn't expect just psychological inspection, but should anticipate a read that pulls no punches: Lau's writing paints vivid pictures as it documents the trials and challenges of staying alive under these conditions. ... And thus Beautiful Hero becomes not one matriarch's biography, but a record of the entire family's experiences and how each family member reacted to and survived these soul- and body-wrenching encounters. Not everyone emerges a survivor - and those left behind are also left to struggle with their reasons for going on...

Every American should read this saga, which documents an ultimate journey to America and the costs involved in getting there. It's a story that is evocative, gripping, and challenging, all at once; and it's one that leads the reader to better understand the promises and delivery of a kind of freedom that many countries never experience."-- Midwest Book Review


Jennifer H. Lau was born in Cambodia in 1970, the third of seven children. She was only five when the Khmer Rouge forcibly relocated her family, friends and neighbors to live and work in one giant concentration camp. She endured four long years of living in perpetual fear, under constant threat of execution, disease, and starvation. Her daily survival often depended on finding the next drop of water, the next grain of rice.

Finally arriving in America at age twelve, illiterate and traumatized, Jennifer forged on – neither willing to accept these setbacks nor to let her former oppressors dictate her future. In addition to working full-time alongside her family to contribute to a fragile new beginning, she also pursued her education with great fervor, endeavoring to learn how to survive the enigmatic first-world challenges of her new country. Her keen understanding of the harsh realities of a struggling nation served her well in her studies at the University of California, Irvine, where she earned dual degrees in Chinese and Chinese Literature, and Economics.

Today, as a Certified Public Accountant, Jennifer Lau owns and runs Topp and Lau accounting firm, where she is proud to contribute to society by assisting individuals, businesses, and charitable organizations. She lives in Orange County, California with her architect husband and their two children, a daughter who was freshman class president, and a son who enjoys karate, basketball, and creating animation.

Having early on been deprived of education herself, Jennifer contributes both time and money to her immediate and extended communities to combat illiteracy. She hopes her story of sorrow and survival inspires readers from all walks of life in their own struggles and successes. She provides this firsthand account of the Khmer Rouge atrocities for future generations to study in the hope to shed light into a dark time. Her greatest fear is that history will repeat itself if we don’t learn from it. Revolution just doesn’t happen overnight

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