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Through Her Eyes: Book Review

By Billy Montgomery

Through Her Eyes is a gripping narrative that delves into the harrowing journey of a young Cambodian teen, exploring challenges, resilience, and courage. Authored by Siray Kong-Michael, the protagonist’s daughter, this book weaves a captivating story that not only sheds light on the individual's struggle but also provides a broader perspective on surviving sexual abuse.

Through Her Eyes stands out among the numerous books on human trafficking due to its unique ability to humanize the refugee experience and emphasize universal themes of hope, survival, and the pursuit of a brighter future.

“The inspiration for this book came from my mother's story that she shared with me a little over 15 years ago,” Kong-Michael said. “She survived human trafficking, child prostitution, and listening to my mother's story, even though this was several decades ago, it's still very present.”

"Through Her Eyes" excels in its ability to portray the teen’s experience in a humanizing way, emphasizing universal themes of hope, survival, and the pursuit of a better future. The author skillfully crafts the complexity of the protagonist's relationships, both within her family and the larger community, creating a narrative that is both relatable and compelling. These interpersonal dynamics add depth to the story, making it more engaging and thought-provoking.

“She was sold into prostitution by her own mother.When I reflect on how young she was, who was involved, the safety she never received growing up, it was very hard,” Kong-Michael said.

The author's writing style is vivid and evocative, transporting readers to the heart of the refugee's journey and creating a deep sense of empathy and connection. The narrative unfolds steadily, keeping the reader engaged from start to finish.


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While it focuses on the trials of her mom, it also showcases the hope she developed and held onto as she was able to relocate to the United States.

“This is a story that needs to be shared and I felt extremely inspired to be a part of the healing of this world through my mother's story,” Kong-Michael said.

Overall, "Through Her Eyes" is a compelling and thought-provoking read that transcends the specific struggles of its protagonist, inviting readers to reflect on the broader implications of the resilience of the human spirit. Kong-Michael has crafted a narrative that is not only impactful but also serves as a testament to the power of storytelling in fostering empathy and understanding across cultures.

This book is a must-read for anyone interested in human stories of survival, hope, and the pursuit of a better life amidst adversity.

Paperback and Kindle versions can be obtained on popular book platforms like and Barnes & Noble or by contacting the author at


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The views, information, and opinions published in this magazine or our blog are the sole responsibility of our contributors or interview subjects. Heart of Hollywood Magazine is not liable for any statements made, or information provided, by its contributors or sources.

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