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The Ugly Daughter: A thrilling real life…
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The Ugly Daughter: A thrilling real life journey to self discovery, riches…

by Julia Legian

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This book was... Very moving... Loan had so many upsetting and horrible things happen to her and I can't believe she didn't lose herself!! Many times I found myself in tears.. Shocked at the so many awful things her parents and great aunt did to her!! I am eagerly awaiting the 2nd volume of this touching memoir!! ( )
  Sullwyn | Jan 21, 2015 |
A story of survival - this is the memoir of Loan Thi Nyugen, born in South Vietnam in the early 1970's, who endured so many horrific hardships as a child. She struggled to overcome many obstacles in her life, never giving up, while living in a dysfunctional family. Loan lived with parents who were described as ugly monsters, who abused her constantly. Her Dad became extremely abusive and cruel to her and Loan's anger and hatred grew with the way he treated her Mum. I was touched by the relationship between Loan and her grandmother, who appeared to have an unshakeable faith and an unconditional love for Loan.

This poignant and powerful story is shared in vivid detail, and displays unbelievable suffering and heartache that will not leave you untouched. It is a compelling story that blends acceptance and forgiveness from painful and difficult circumstances. A captivating read! My rating is 4 stars. ( )
  wrbinpa | Jan 2, 2015 |
I actually had goosebumps—that positive kind, that is—in reading this book. Julia Legian’s memoir is sweeping in its scope and breath-taking in its penetration of the small moments. It is the kind of book that will haunt you days after reading it—‘The Ugly Daughter’, to put it simply, is a literary marvel.

When you look at Julia’s photo on the book’s cover, seeing her with that peaceful smile, you’d never think that a person who exudes such positivity had actually undergone unimaginable horror. The harrowing imagery evoked by the first few pages alone sets the tone for the rest of the book—and, eventually, makes Julia’s redemption in the end all the more satisfying. Born in the early 1970s in South Vietnam, Julia’s childhood was marked with constant strife and the ever-present of fatal danger. Seeing an opportunity for a better life and escape oppression, Julia’s family takes an enormous risk setting off to Australia as one of those so-called “boat people”. And ‘The Ugly Daughter’ is her story.

I love Julia’s writing—it brims with such candor and, despite what her childhood represents, a sort of nostalgia. The book also helpfully comes with pictures—for the benefit of those of us who could not imagine what she went through in those days of utter poverty and seeming hopelessness.

Overall, ‘The Ugly Daughter’ is a jaw-dropping page-turner, and one that makes you grateful that somebody like Julia has escaped the clutches of that horror. The book succeeds in a flourish the dual nature of human beings—on one hand, how we are capable of the most despicable acts; on the other hand, there are those like Julia who, for their sheer perseverance of spirit, give us bottomless hope. I believe this book deserves a wider audience—and a movie version, if possible—because we could all learn so much from her life story. A solid five-star rating for this book. ( )
  jblazarte | Mar 12, 2014 |
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