Invisible: Surviving the Cambodian Genocide – The Memoirs of Mac and Simone Leng
By: Frances T. Pilch
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake
Superstition, Disease, Determination, and Drought, in the Crisis, Chaos, and Tragedy of War
Dr. Frances T. Pilch captures the spirit of Mac and Simone Leng in her book “Invisible: Surviving the Cambodian Genocide – The Memoirs of Mac and Simone Leng.” The Cambodian genocide carried out by the Khmer Rouge regime led by Pol Pot between 1975 and 1979 forced relocation of the population from urban centers. Some were sent to labor camps and others to rural farming projects. Forced labor, torture, mass executions, malnutrition, disease, and starvation took the lives of an estimated 2 million people in Cambodia.
Mac and Simone Leng are among the survivors. “Invisible” is the dramatic account of of the horrors they experienced throughout their nearly four years of struggling for survival amidst the chaotic and inhuman living conditions that existed in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge.
I was deeply touched by Mac’s tribute to Simone as he credits her with the determination, loyalty, resourcefulness, and generosity that enabled their family to pull together in their plight for survival. Simone describes Mac this way. “He put his family above himself. It was a bond much deeper that the word “love” often implies. We were everything to each other.” Mac, Simone, and their family were not just challenged “to survive, but to survive without losing their humanity.”
“Invisible: Surviving the Cambodian Genocide – The Memoirs of Mac and Simone Leng” is important reading for every American; a call to speak out against inhumanity, tyranny, and cruelty.
A complimentary review copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.
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