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Out of the Dark: Into the Garden of Hope Hardcover – December 19, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
And yet sometimes, you must. Many times - after reading about two starving children so desperate for food they would turn their own mother's head into soup, or how author Dr. Sam Keo himself was forced to hide beneath the corpses of freshly slain villagers while Khmer Rouge soldiers drove bayonets into their bodies to make sure they were dead - I found myself forced to set it aside for a few moments while struggling to come to terms with such inhumanity.
How does one reconcile such staggering atrocity with what we know of the human spirit? Dr. Keo himself shows us: By never losing hope. His stories are horrifying and heartbreaking, but also so full of heart and perseverance, a window into the human spirit that fights against even the most unspeakable evil to go on. To triumph, even.
Of the growing body of memoirs about the Khmer Rouge genocide and the subsequent Cambodian diaspora, this volume stands out for the sense of hope it imparts, reflected in the title and in the deep honesty in which Dr. Keo discusses the prevalence of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the newly emerging awareness of how better to treat it. "Out of the Dark" will be an extremely effective resource to better understand and help those with PTSD, and really builds on the research into this area by Sucheng Chan and other author-scholars.
Dr.Read more ›
Out of the Dark and into the Garden of Hope is captivating from cover to cover. I was deeply moved by Dr. Sam Keo's story of growth, survival and the resiliency of the human spirit. I have lived in Southern California for most of my twenty-five years, along with many other people of the younger generation I am often unaware of the sacrifices of my parents and elders. The stories of the Cambodian genocide need to be shared and remembered, not only for historical reasons but also for future hope for those who have suffered such animosity and trauma.
Out of the Dark: Into the Garden of Hope sets itself apart by letting readers know that the pain, and trauma did not end with the war in 1979. Readers are given invaluable insight into the adversities that Dr. Sam Keo faced upon leaving his mother in Cambodia and embarking on a new life in the United States. Dr. Sam Keo reminds us that survivors of war and trauma still suffer even when the war is over. A must read for those who are interested in memoirs,war biographies, psychology, and culture. Dr. Sam Keo's personal account of loss, post-traumatic stress, and recovery is a story that will keep intact the unwavering strength of the Cambodian people.
Dr. Keo tells us about how it was to live under intense fear and oppression as a young man, a son, a brother, a life gambler, a leader, and... even a hero. He became a hero without knowing it or wanting it; a hero who was far different from the ones portrayed in the Hollywood movies. Yes, he saved his own life and that of many others but was not always certain of what to do next; a hero who was strong but also cried more than once to bare overwhelming pain and guilt; a hero who tried to protect many others but also made decisions that lead to unfavorable results...
Out of the Dark to the Garden of Hope tells about more than one story that marked Dr. Keo's life: the story of devastating physical and psychological pain, survival and courage under the Khmer Rouge, and the story of the holocaust survivor that came to US to get a better life. Dr. Keo arrived to this country with luggage packed with one thousand fears but one million dreams: an immigrant anxious to learn and pursue higher education to honor his parent's dreams.
Out of the Dark to the Garden of Hope also tells about Dr. Keo's journey to recovery that leads to the healing of deep psychological wounds, and to the rebirth of hope. Dr. Keo's story is an inspiration to many others that, like him, have experienced traumatic experiences but could also reach peace of mind and happiness in A Garden of Hope!
Irma Martinez, MA
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a testimony of a man who experienced a terrible time in history. With an incredible will to survive he is able to tell the world his story. Read morePublished 21 days ago by Marsha
Some of the stories in this book are very depressing but very inspiring. My tears were running out of my eyes when I read about how much you treasured your family. Read morePublished on July 2, 2014 by Tina Somchit