As a young girl in 1982, I vividly remember hearing tales of my Aunt Siv Eng’s escape from the Khmer Rouge and of her survival in the killing fields. It was enough to give any child nightmares. I was reunited with Aunt Siv Eng at a family reunion in 2017. She had recently returned from a trip to Cambodia and shared photos of the bleak prison where she was held captive. Years earlier in that same prison, Aunt Siv Eng made a vow that if she ever escaped, she would tell her story. Two months after the reunion, I was headed to L.A. to begin the daunting process of recording and documenting her experience firsthand. After the first few hours of conversation, I knew this was a story that must be told.
Many have never heard of the killing fields in Cambodia, because it is not taught in history courses. With The Girl Who Said Goodbye, the reader will experience an up close and personal account of life under the brutal Khmer Rouge contrasted with the beauty of the Cambodian culture.
Heather Allen lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana with her husband, three children and a very ornery spaniel. She is a speech pathologist with a love of music and literature. At a family reunion she was offered a life changing opportunity: a chance to help fulfill a vow and tell her aunt’s story.