Nadia Murad was born and raised in Kocho, a small village of farmers and shepherds in Iraq. A member of the Yazidi community, she and her eleven brothers and sisters lived a quiet life. Nadia was in high school and had dreams of becoming a history teacher and opening her own beauty salon.
On August 15th, 2014, when Nadia was just twenty-one years old, this life ended. ISIS militants massacred the people of her village, executing men old enough to fight 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 and her two sisters were taken to Mosul, where they joined thousands of Yazidi girls in the ISIS slave trade.
Nadia would be sold three times, raped, beaten, and forced to convert to Islam in order to marry one of her captors. 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 the safety of a refugee camp. There, surrounded by bereaved and broken Yazidi families, Nadia decided to devote her life to bringing ISIS to justice.
As a farm girl in rural Iraq, Nadia could not have imagined she would one day address the United Nations or be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. She had never been to Baghdad, or even seen an airplane. As a slave, she was told by her captors that Yazidis would be erased from the face of the earth, and there were times when she believed them.
Today, Nadia’s story–as a witness to ISIS, 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.
What I Liked
The Last Girl has to be one of the most thought provoking books I have read all year. When you think about genocide and all the gruesome things that go along with it many individuals feel like that was something of the past. Something that ended in WW2 when the Nazi were defeated. But, that is not true. Many people in recent years have watched the news and heard of the horrible things that ISIS has done to individuals, communities, and towns. But, not many people hear a first hand account in detail. This is what this story does.
Throughout this book I was constantly writing notes in the margins. I was making constant connections to how the Nazi’s treated the Jews. I was heart broken hearing about what she and her loved ones went through and I just am ashamed that it happened less than five years ago. This book truly is an eye opener. It does not sugar coat things, but tells you how it was.
Not only did this book give me a better and more in-depth understanding the events over seas, it also exposed me to a culture I had not idea existed. I personally love learning about other cultures and beliefs, since I was a young girl I would read books on these subjects. I really appreciated that not only did Nadia tell us about what happened to her, but also told us about her people, her family, her community.
One thing I wish to make clear is that this book does not hold back. Nadia Murad does not hold back and is very vocal about what has happened to her. If anything in the description of this book makes you uncomfortable, please be aware it is discussed in the book. This includes discussing genocide, rape, living as a refugee, and more.
While this book does discuss difficult topics and for some can be too much, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is one of the best books I have read in a while that has opened my eyes and has taught me so much. I have already recommended it to many of my friends and family. I suggest you pick up this book if you are interesting in reading a first hand account about the actions of ISIS, want to read about a strong woman, or learn more about the world around you. It is written very well and is one of the most personally influential books I have read this year.
Publisher: Tim Duggan Books
Publication Date: November 7th 2017
List Price: $27.00
*I received this book through blogging for books in exchange for an honest review.*