A thrilling real life journey to self discovery, riches and spirituality. A memoir by Julia Legian.
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The Girl who Swam with Corpses: A Memoir of Vietnam
“We have no idea. No-one not brought up in a war-torn country can have any conception of what it’s like. This is a story of a little girl who was. Bodies are commonplace, death unsurprising, and poverty and danger extreme and ever-present. But the worst aspect of it all must have been the utter hopelessness. Most children came to accept the situation. But this little girl didn’t. And that is the joy of this book.
The Ugly Daughter is the story of a girl growing up in the mess that was ’70s Vietnam. Born in 1971, she was to find herself right in the thick of that mess. […]
Written with great wit and wisdom 30 years after the event, The Ugly Daughter is about the ugliest of events. Yet the reader is constantly reminded that this is not what this book is really about. Instead, like The Odyssey, it is about the resilience of the human spirit in the face of extraordinary odds, a hugely inspirational and uplifting work. It shows the upside of the motive that drove a young girl to find joy in an execution: the desire to be much better than she might have been. Because this little girl goes through these horrors and not only survives, but does so with her spirit and sense of humour firmly intact. Surely, we in this lucky country of Australia, can do likewise? Perhaps we could start by welcoming our fellow-humans instead of turning our back on them.”
– C. S. Boag author of Mr Rainbow series
Horror Story with a Happy Ending
Julia Legian’s memoir is among the most harrowing and moving life stories I have come across. While the life in Vietnam her family escaped from was beyond any horror fiction, unfortunately the children did not escape their torturers, her parents. The author’s rise through luck, determination and intelligence to a place where she could write and publish a book in a second language is both a relief and a testament to the human spirit. 4 stars and 5 tissue boxes.
– Tom Flood author of Oceana Fine