“Why the child is frightened of murderers and ghosts, and how these fears came true?”
As a child, Vicheara had the usual fears of monsters and ghosts. Her dad assured that ghosts did not exist. He told her it was more reasonable to fear the living who would come through the door. This unintended prophecy was made manifest in 1975 when the Pol Pot’s army poured through the doors in Phnom Penh and sent all to the “killing fields”.
When she was a young adult, one fortuneteller told her to tell her dad to flee the country before it “turned upside down”. He dismissed this warning.
In 1975, a day before her family was forced out of their home, she dreamed about losing all her teeth. She knew the teeth meant family members; but, it was too late to warn her dad as the horror overtaking Cambodia was already past the point of no return.
This is the remarkable personal autobiography of a woman raised as the sheltered and privileged only child of a prominent Cambodian family. This story of how she adapted and survived in the harsh “killing fields” is unlike any other memoir of this era. It is a triumph of the human spirit.