The Road of Lost Innocence: As a girl she was sold into sexual slavery, but now she rescues others. The true story of a Cambodian heroine.
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Product Description

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¡ªrape, torture, deprivation¡ªuntil 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.

Customer Reviews:

  • Lifechanging and heartbreaking
    Caution: This book is written in a heart-wrenching, raw, unflinching manner and does not shy away from describing some of the horrific abuse that Somaly and countless thousands of other young girls have endured. Though I think it is critical for adults to be shaken out of their comfort zone--and this book has the power to sear one for a lifetime--I would keep this book away from any reader under age 18, unless she was reading it with the constant oversight and guidance of a parent. That said, I think this kind of book--reality--needs to be read far more than fiction which gets far more graphic. This is real life for thousands of little girls. We can't hide from that, and I think we need to be shaken up a bit if such will change the way we view this issue.

    "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" (From the book synopsis).

    You will cry, you will shudder, you will feel sick to your stomach if you have the courage to let the truth enter your world. There are consequences to knowing the truth. When we know the truth, God holds us responsible to act on it...to order our lives around it. If you read this book you cannot ignore these girls' need to be rescued and healed. What if it were your little sister or your daughter?

    Obviously these girls need help. But God does not need any one of us. This post is not an attempted guilt trip to prod readers to help. On the contrary, to be part of the hand of God to these, the least of these is what Christianity is all about (James 1:27) and it is both an honor and a privilege to be involved. I am blessed to be able to help and want as many of you as possible to get that same opportunity....more info
  • Opening to the World
    I finished this book, and it opens up your eyes that there is so much out there. It brings you to the light about the horror these women, and children have to face each day and night. It's women like her that make a difference to help out. Bless her heart and hope her organization prospers....more info
  • Excellent, although deeply disturbing
    It seems like the reality of the sex trade and sex trafficking is public knowledge these days, but for whatever reason, it takes the real experience of one girl to really shed light on what's happening.

    The book is well written and easy to read, although the last couple of chapters feel a little disjointed. But her story is captivating - I read it in one day - and moving.

    Thank God for her courage to set aside bitterness and stand up for these women....more info
  • Quite a Gift
    My wife escaped from Cambodia with her parents and siblings in 1978. I purchased this book for a Christmas gift. It was the first gift she opened and while our children and family were opening their gifts and going crazy..... she continued reading, in her own world. She has read the book twice since Christmas and cries through it's reading. She spends many nights sitting with her mother, translating the book to her and they both cry.
    Excellent work to all involved in the delivery of this book!...more info
  • Heartbreaking Story
    Somaly May is a true Heroine. My heart still breaks for all she has & continues to suffer. I wish she could see herself as others do and not as she was made to feel during her horrific childhood. I will be haunted by her story for the rest of my life....more info
  • A Plea for Help
    This was a terrible, awful, horrible story, but a wonderful book. The author was sold into prostitution as a child but managed to escape by getting married to a foreigner. She started an organization which rescues women from sexual slavery. This is her story and her expose of the corrupt political system that allows this sex trade to flourish.

    Most sad of all is her conclusion about why this horrible system has developed in her country. Basically she says, after all the years of war and then the terror of the Pol Pot regime, people have learned to survive by looking out for themselves and only themselves. As a culture they have lost the civility of looking after one another and as such they are willing to sell their children or step-children. They are willing to rape children. They are willing to turn a blind eye to women being abused.

    A portion of the proceeds from this book go to the author's foundation to help these women. For more information, please go to http://www.somaly.org I'm going to make a donation and urge you to do so too, even if you don't buy the book...more info
  • This is a heartbreaking story.
    Review by Jill Williamson

    I can't stop thinking about this book. First let me caution you, this book is graphic due to the subject matter, but I believe all older girls would benefit from reading it. The Road to Lost Innocence is not a fiction novel. It's a memoir, which is a true story of an author's life. The Road to Lost Innocence is the story of Somaly Mam, a Cambodian woman who was sold into slavery as a girl and later sold to a brothel. The village world she paints is fascinating. She didn't know what a fork was or that running water existed until she grew up. She shares how she managed to get away from her prison and how she went back to try and rescue girls from the life she once lived.

    This is a heartbreaking story. I cried more than once. Human trafficking is beyond horrifying to read about, and this book will open your eyes to a bigger world. Girls are stolen or sold everyday, and not only in places like Cambodia or the Philippines. This happens everywhere including Canada and the US. If you are brave enough, this book will hopefully spur you toward action. It does get a bit graphic in parts, and I caution younger girls to ask their parents before reading it. I also urge you all to pray for Somaly Mam, her family, her ministry, and that she might find her creator, the one who loves her more than anything.
    ...more info