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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize

In this intimate memoir of survival, a former captive of the Islamic State tells her harrowing and ultimately inspiring story. 

Nadia Murad was born and raised in Kocho, a small village of farmers and shepherds in Northern Iraq. A member of the Yazidi community, she and her brothers and sisters lived a quiet life. Nadia had dreams of becoming a history teacher or opening her own beauty salon. 

On August 15, 2014, when Nadia was just 21 years old, this life ended. Islamic State militants massacred the people of her village, executing men who refused to convert to Islam and women too old to become sex slaves. Six of Nadia's brothers were killed, and her mother soon after, their bodies swept into mass graves. Nadia was taken to Mosul and forced, along with thousands of other Yazidi girls, into the IS slave trade. 

Nadia would be held captive by several militants and repeatedly raped and beaten. Finally, she managed a narrow escape through the streets of Mosul, finding shelter in the home of a Sunni Muslim family whose eldest son risked his life to smuggle her to safety. 

Today, Nadia's story - as a witness to the Islamic State's brutality, a survivor of rape, a refugee, a Yazidi - has forced the world to pay attention to the ongoing genocide in Iraq. It is a call to action, a testament to the human will to survive, and a love letter to a lost country, a fragile community, and a family torn apart by war. 

©2017 Nadia Murad (P)2017 Random House Audio

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  • Overall
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A Heartbreaking Tale of Survival and Hope

One of the most common refrains I hear as an American is this: "The Middle Easterners have been killing themselves and each other for thousands of years. There is nothing we can do about it but let them do it." That is a statement people made when the Nazi's marched through Europe, and for many years religious based genocide was ignored. Reading this book demonstrates the monster that is Isis, and that their reach is far more vast and frightening than we can even begin to realize. This text is an absolute must read for anyone who cares about the political world and religious freedom at all. It will forever change you as it has me.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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A Repeat of History

The story is powerful, well told. and unfortunately a repeat of so many other genocides. As I listened to the story of this woman I couldn’t help but think of the Holocaust. Evil resorts to the same methods of control and the systematic stripping of freedoms in order to devour a person, a people, or a nation. We all must be on guard for these things and if necessary fight for ourselves or others experiencing this, no matter their race, creed, or religion. We must do this for all others for one day it may be us, our families, or our friends. We must do it because we are human and share a common bond with all others.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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The narrator detracts from the story.

As compelling as this woman's story is, I could not get into the book. It seemed like a work of fiction to me, largely because of the narrator and her near-whining, overly dramatic voice. She also seems like she didn't research the pronunciation of Arabic words.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Narrator makes it almost unbearable

Horrific story and event with no doubt. However, having the entire book read with the almost sobbing narrators voice caused the truly horrible parts to seem no different than when she was planting onions. Also, if your political leanings are more conservative, you will recognize the liberal leaning talk. But I do wish Nadia the best and hope she continues her mission.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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A powerful story

I am glad Nadia wrote this book as painful as it must’ve been for her to recount it. I gather she will take comfort in knowing that more people worldwide are learning the truth.



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  • sanaz
  • bellevue wa
  • 10-14-18

Could have been a better book

The book starts rather coherently with one memory here and another there. I feel this was a rushed work, could have been way better structured. Horrific story, reminded me very much of Holocaust, and I think it was worse in some aspects. With better authorship and structure to the story, it could have been much better.
Narration is really awful. Regardless, I still think this is very informative and a must to know about. I do wish Nadia and her fellow Yazidis the best.

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Very Gripping very sad

I finished this book pretty fast. It defines modern manifestation of evil in our world.
Nadia showed extraordinary strength and courage. Pray her people can survive this scourge known as the Islamic State.

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Eye opening

this book is eye opening and sad of what she went though she wrote the story with honestly that is raw and i recommend this book to listen too because it has important to teach essential lessons on not to be discriminatory acts on which people are different from you

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Excellent

An incredible story and heartbreaking to hear, but must be told. A families love for one another... a cultures story on how it many attempted to rip it from the history books. A story of a young girl, who suffered terribly, and to an end the few know and understand. But her story is needed... many people need to not just listen to it, but to hear it. To actually hear what it is like to live under ISIS rule. To hear how ISIS treats it's own people but also those who dont believe in its ways. It was hard listening to this being a US Military member. I only wish I could have gone to join the fight against ISIS directly... but I wasnt able... This story however, is that reminder as to why I chose to serve, and why we must continue the fight against them.

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Heart Breaking

Moving, heart breaking story. Exquisite performance.

The unanswered question: Why does humanity permit genocide to continue?