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The Road of Lost Innocence by Somaly Mam
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The Road of Lost Innocence (2005)

by Somaly Mam

Other authors: Egil Fredheim (Translator)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2922038,453 (4.06)9
Recently added bylisaross, djshiva, x_hoxha, private library, Alloc, bejhawk, Renn_22, ChinWeeStar, kurros, Tiaramay
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  1. 10
    A Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-Face with Modern-Day Slavery by E. Benjamin Skinner (brianjungwi)
  2. 00
    I Am Najood, Age 10 and Divorced by Najood Ali (Yervant)
    Yervant: Both these memoirs recount experiences of young girls in different parts of the world--Yemen and Cambodia--being married into what amounts to nothing more than child abuse. One focuses on female/child trafficking in Cambodia and the other on cultural norms in Yemen that allow for child marriages.… (more)
  3. 01
    Sex Slaves: The Trafficking of Women in Asia by Louise Brown (brianjungwi)
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» See also 9 mentions

English (17)  Danish (1)  Lithuanian (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (20)
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
This book is honest, brutally, painfully honest and that is really why it can make a difference. With every page I felt Somaly Mam's struggle with the prostitution that was a big part of her past and how the very same past has propelled her forward. I feel lucky, extremely lucky, because I know had I lived the life she has I would have been completely broken and not able to stand up for righteousness like she has. She is a true hero.

In many ways the story of the little Cambodian girls sold by their very own parents, owned like commodities by different people in different points in their lives, I find those stories similar to the untold stories of little Nepalese girls in the forgotten villages of my country. It has made it easier for me to empathize with the horrors described in the book. This book shows Mam's strength as a human being and her story is one that deserves to be told.

In many ways it is not the writing or even the content of the book that will draw the reader in; it is the brutally honest way that the story is written that will leave a lasting impression. One can feel the pain Mam was feeling, see the horrors that she was encountering from her past while writing this book. The fact that she completed this book no matter what it cost her to go down the memory lane is what makes this even more commendable.

It is a must read for every person of every gender who want to know how deep the roots of sex slavery, prostitution and human trafficking go into our society. ( )
  shayanasha | Apr 5, 2013 |
When I started to read the book, noting the curiously flat tone and simple language, I thought I was in for another one of the books like [b:Slave|2929235|Sklavin|Mende Nazer|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/21U93KReBBL._SL75_.jpg|1116999] by Mende Nazer (a 5-star book) or even Halima Bashir's [b:Tears of the Desert: A Memoir of Survival in Darfur|3170677|Tears of the Desert A Memoir of Survival in Darfur|Halima Bashir|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1267830964s/3170677.jpg|3202798] (another 5-star read). I've read a lot of these books of Black men and women taken by the Arabs in Sudan as slaves or victims of a civil war and I'd reached the point where I only wanted to read another one if it was going to be radically different. This one is.

Somaly Mam didn't have a good start in life and it went rapidly downhill after that with her as a young girl being sold to a 'grandfather' as a slave, a man who would repay his debts at the local shop by selling her virginity in a violent rape. The downhill acceleration picked up from there.

But then she met a man, a typical European traveller who likes working abroad and mixing with the locals and doesn't much mind if he pays for sex or not. Becoming his mistress saved her life. Eventually she forms a powerful and very successful charity to save other girls, estimated to be 1 in 40 of all the girls in Cambodia, who have found themselves with nowhere lower than death to go, and even in that, Somaly Mam is there for them. It's the story of her life and how it changed with this man that is the most interesting part.

I've seen sex slaves. My son and I were in Bangkok and went to the Patpong market, a night market. Down the centre of the broad street were stalls back-to-back selling t-shirts and jewelry and down the sides were shops and bars. The bars had their doors propped half open and inside some, dancing on round tables were exquisite doll-like girls with dull, dead eyes, swinging slowly around their stripper poles as they waited for the customers to come inside.

I'm glad I've read the book, its fleshed out the statistics I've read on sex slavery in the Far East, and given life to those girls who looked like they had none or didn't care if they did or not. I wouldn't have chosen that market for my son to see at only fourteen, but then why not, he was the same age as those dead-eyed girls.



( )
  Petra.Xs | Apr 2, 2013 |
Somaly Mam IS an inspiration to women around the world. Her story of being sold into sexual slavery and then managing to get out of it AND to make it her life's work to help other girls (some as young as eight years old) to escape the slavery in Cambodia is something that every single person should read about.

Slavery is still happening in the world today and it is hidden because it is glamorized as an exotic thing for tourists to do. It needs to stop and these women and girls who have been terrorized by it need to be freed. ( )
  clarasayre | Mar 30, 2013 |
A grim yet heartening memoir by a non-Khmer Cambodian woman who was sold into sexual slavery. After getting out of Cambodia, she ultimately returned and now assists women and children. Mam is a good writer and if a book with this content can be said to be enjoyable, this one is. ( )
  OshoOsho | Mar 30, 2013 |
Somaly Mam was sold into prostitution at the age of about 12 years old, after having already been beaten and raped by multiple men. [The Road of Lost Innocence] is Mam’s memoir, detailing her years in the brothels of Cambodia, her eventual escape, and the national aid organization she founded to help other victims escape. Mam recounts the nightmare of her life in simple and straightforward language, never shying from the awful details of the sex industry in Southeast Asia. The story is ultimately one of sheer will to survive, as Mam didn’t really do anything special to escape, except outlasting her tormentors. The real story of the human spirit is Mam’s later work to help other victims like her escape and live safe, full lives.

Bottom Line: A story that should be read by all, but one that not everyone will want to read.

4 bones!!!! ( )
  blackdogbooks | Dec 31, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Somaly Mamprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Egil FredheimTranslatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ruth MarshallAuthorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
I dedicate this book to the thousands of little girls who are sold into prostitution every year.
First words
My name is Somaly.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385526210, Hardcover)

A portion of the proceeds of this book will be donated to the Somaly Mam Foundation.

A riveting, raw, and beautiful memoir of tragedy and hope

Born in a village deep in the Cambodian forest, Somaly Mam was sold into sexual slavery by her grandfather when she was twelve years old. For the next decade she was shuttled through the brothels that make up the sprawling sex trade of Southeast Asia. Trapped in this dangerous and desperate world, she suffered the brutality and horrors of human trafficking—rape, torture, deprivation—until she managed to escape with the help of a French aid worker. Emboldened by her newfound freedom, education, and security, Somaly blossomed but remained haunted by the girls in the brothels she left behind.
Written in exquisite, spare, unflinching prose, The Road of Lost Innocence recounts the experiences of her early life and tells the story of her awakening as an activist and her harrowing and brave fight against the powerful and corrupt forces that steal the lives of these girls. She has orchestrated raids on brothels and rescued sex workers, some as young as five and six; she has built shelters, started schools, and founded an organization that has so far saved more than four thousand women and children in Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos. Her memoir will leave you awestruck by her tenacity and courage and will renew your faith in the power of an individual to bring about change.

To learn more about how you can help fight human trafficking, visit the foundation’s website: www.somaly.org.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:21:00 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Born in a Cambodian village, Somaly Mam was sold into sexual slavery by her grandfather at age twelve. For the next decade she was shuttled through the brothels that make up the sprawling sex trade of Southeast Asia. She suffered the brutality and horrors of human trafficking--rape, torture, deprivation--until she managed to escape with the help of a French aid worker. Emboldened by her newfound freedom, education, and security, Somaly blossomed but remained haunted by the girls in the brothels she left behind. This book tells the story of her awakening as an activist and her harrowing and brave fight against the powerful and corrupt forces that steal the lives of these girls. She has built shelters, started schools, and founded an organization that has so far saved more than four thousand women and children in Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos.--From publisher description.… (more)

» see all 4 descriptions

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