• reaksacambodia

Shepherd of My Soul

Last year, I sent my manuscript to one of my friends to read. He took his liberty to pass the manuscript to his friend to read as well. Here is his friend's comment:

This is a remarkable testimony to triumph over adversity of life and spirit and speaks volumes for Christian values. The early part of the book is a graphic record of the unimaginable horror of the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge and the miracle of one Cambodian teenager’s survival against all the odds. It has echoes of similar killings at the Nazi concentration camps during the Holocaust and the occasional miracle of a victim fortuitously spared. As an eyewitness account and a primary source, it is of particular interest to the historian.

The following of the verses of Psalm 23 works well in leading the reader through the long struggle of the author to overcome the impact of his trauma, with revenge ultimately giving way to forgiveness through his conversion to Christianity. He makes it abundantly clear that for him there could be no ‘quick fix’, despite that conversion, and the road to healing and recovery was long and arduous,

The use of the Psalms is effective in focussing the mind of the reader: I have read more from them in this book than I should normally do in a year. The printing of Biblical texts was also helpful in avoiding the need for the reader to have to look for the appropriate reference.

It would have been useful for there to have been a brief sequenced outline of his life or an explanation to put some episodes in their time setting. For example, two-thirds of the way through he tells us he was a policeman when there had been no previous mention. Probably those who had read his other books would know where exactly in his life this episode occurred, but not the ‘new’ reader. Also references to tending cows, buffalo, and oxen could have benefited from being accompanied by a reference to his age,

To the person of faith, this book would be inspirational and the author is to be lauded on his achievements through following the will of God. The seeker after truth - like me – can acknowledge the enormous, almost miraculous, turn around in the author’s life and applaud the fundamental sentiment of forgiveness, almost impossible to conceive in the given circumstances.

Considering the length of the book, there did not seem to be many typographical errors and by and large, the quality of English (or should one say ‘American’/’Canadian’) was very good, especially when one considers this would not have been the author’s first language.

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