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The Last Girl

My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State
Narrated by: Ilyana Kadushin
Length: 12 hrs and 15 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (381 ratings)

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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.

6 of 6 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.

5 of 5 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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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So powerful

This book is incredible, I encourage all to read to better understand the Middle East.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Enlightening

We hear about the war in Iraq but are unaware of all the horrors that occur. Nadia brings to light the personal losses and tragedies that are going on daily, things that we can’t even imagine. An enlightening read.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Staggering truth

This was hard to read. The suffering is and was great, yet we know so little of the plight of the Yazidi people. The news doesn't give enough attention to the issue.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Beautiful

Listen to this story. The love Nadia has for her family, community, religion & country is palpable. We should all be so strong and brave.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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An invaluable read

I did not think it was possible to treat women worse than the Taliban does. After reading this I know I was wrong. I was touched and angered by this book and how these binine people were destroyed in what could only be called a genocide. The book is invaluable in understanding the true nature of the Islamic State.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Deb T
  • Fairfax County, Virginia
  • 03-25-19

Definitely a must-read, ASAP

The story and characters are compelling, tragic, enlightening, heroic, and hopeful. Put this book at the top of your reading list.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful