Item description for On the Wings of a White Horse: A Cambodian Princess's Story of Surviving the Khmer Rouge Genocide by Oni Vitandham...
Overview A moving and inspirational account of the author's life, from the jungles of Cambodia to the streets of California. A moving account of survival in the face of genocide and personal hardships. It is the story of a child hidden in the jungle by her father and who escapes to become a young orphan and refugee on the streets of America.
Publishers Description Oni Vitandham has written a moving story of her struggles as a child to survive in the jungles during the Cambodian genocide, and as a young refugee in the U.S. She describes the very real challenges that have faced generations of refugees and immigrants to this country. It is a compelling story of courage and determination.
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Reviews - What do customers think about On the Wings of a White Horse: A Cambodian Princess's Story of Surviving the Khmer Rouge Genocide?
Compelling and important Aug 17, 2008
Man's inhumanity to man never ceases to amaze me. The story is at once tragic then hopeful, despairing then spiritual. Oni has captured the essence of one of the 20th century's worst travesties in a simple almost childlike manner. Perhaps not brilliantly written, it is brilliantly told. This is the first Killing Fields book I've read (avoided for obvious reasons of personal discomfort, although I've read books on Armenian genocide, Holocaust and Dharfur) and I will now join those who work to build on the strengths of Cambodia and its people. I especially appreciated the brief history of Cambodia at the end of the book, and the sweet and simple photos. I felt this strong sense of peace at the end of reading, as if in fact Oni will achieve her goals and be part of a larger vital improvement for the lives of so many Khmer, both in America and in Cambodia.
Triumph of hope ............... Feb 27, 2008
"And a child shall lead them" -- Oni Vitandham begins her real life story as a child, of resilience and survival surrounded by constant death, destruction, danger, and unimaginable horror. Although dealing with a conflict over 30 years removed, this book could not have arrived at a more poignant time. At its core, the political themes are as relevant today as they were then in stemming the flow of innocent blood.
This book should further resonate with recently honed political sensibilities (per Abu Graib, Iraq, etc) and serve as inspiration to us all not only as citizens but as human beings to stand up for justice and equality (even in the face of dire political rhetoric).
Oni's story reminds us how truly blessed we all are and of our universal responsibility to prevent these horrors from re-occurring.
"Evil prospers because good men do nothing." Edmund Burke
Review of Oni's Story Dec 23, 2007
A reading of Oni Vitandham's "On the Wings of a White Horse" is an inspiring experience to say the least. It is a tale of immense pain and suffering, yet courage in the face of failure and despair. It is the story of a life that may never have been but for the love of family and friends. A theme that seems often lacking in our world today. It is not an easy book to read. Indeed, it is often violently confronting. However, it is certain, that the reader will leave with a greater sense of compassion, love and hope for the future of humanity
Oni's is a powerful, at times confronting and terrifying story that delves into the subjects that have all too often been left to the back pages of history. From the fall of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, to the Communist movements in Laos and Vietnam, and beyond to a new life in America, Oni's journey often reads like a political history of South-East Asia during the 1970s. For one young girl to be at the centre of some of the most desperate struggles of the decade, and to emerge not only alive, but also so incredibly empowered, seems almost beyond comprehension.
Yet this is what makes Oni, and her story, so enthralling. To quote the saying, "whatever doesn't kill us, makes us stronger" seems almost inadequate to describe this story. Indeed Oni tells her life as it is, with little attempt to shield use from the intense pain and suffering that she herself has had to endure. At first this seems almost to hard to bear. However as even Oni herself tells us at the start of the book; these are her childhood memories. It is this thought enough that inspires the reader to continue on.
Indeed Oni stands for an idea that is greater than her own personal story and even greater than her desire to see a prosperous and peaceful Cambodia. She believes in the right of all people to have the chance to grow up in peace and happiness. She believes in the power of the individual and the immense capacity that humans have for spreading happiness in their world.
A reading of Oni's "On the Wings of a White Horse" will leave the reader inspired. Indeed it is a story that enters through the heart and leaves through the head. One cannot read it and not be inspired to get up and care about the plight of the millions of people who are so less fortunate than ourselves.
A Wonderful Book! Dec 13, 2007
This is a wonderful book and easy reading. I would recommend it to anyone and I am going to refer it to my friends. Take the time to read it, it's definitely worth your while.
You MUST read this book! Dec 10, 2007
This is one of the most fascinating books I have ever read. From the beginning of her life in a cave to the constant struggle for suvival, Oni describes her ordeal, an ordeal no one would have dreamed could ever actually happen. Her life could have ended many times if it were not for the caring people around her and for her own perseverance. Oni is one strong, determined lady and her story needs to be told to the world. If you only read one book a year, this should be the one!