Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormick

Disturbing. Heart-wrenching. Powerful. So many evocative words describe Never Fall Down. Written by Patricia McCormick, this novel is based on her many long interviews with Arn Chorn, a human rights activist dedicated to preserving traditional Cambodian music. Growing up during the siege of the Khmer Rouge, this story spans four years of Arn’s war-ravaged childhood (filled in by McCormick where his memories are lacking) as well as his older life in America. Written in the first person with broken English, I connected deeply to Arn and his story. While connection is a good thing, it was also painful in this case. The one negative comment I can make about this book is that the horrifying story is true. Yet at the end of the sadness, there is a truly inspiring conclusion.

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