The Last Girl

The Last Girl

My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State

Book - 2017
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"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 15th, 2014, when Nadia was just twenty-one 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 ISIS 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"-- Provided by publisher.
"A memoir of Nadia Murad's time as a captive of the Islamic State, her escape, and her human rights activism"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York :, Tim Duggan Books,, [2017]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781524760434
1524760439
9781524760441
1524760447
9781524762445
152476244X
Characteristics: 306 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : color illustrations, map ; 25 cm

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kyriana
Apr 23, 2018

This book was exceptionally well-written (Nadia mentions near the beginning that English was not her strongest subject in school), but the story is told in a somewhat confusing manner. The first third of the book covers Nadia's life before ISIS arrives in her village. The stories she shares from her life before are told out of sequence; she shares memories of her childhood and her home, and they are not told in chronological order. I understand that that makes a story more interesting, but often there was no sense of time given to help order the events of her life, so I was very confused at times, trying to figure out where in the sequence of her life an event or series of events took place. Also, often names were dropped in without any context whatsoever, and I struggled to understand the relationship between Nadia and that person. Katherine, her favorite niece, is mentioned multiple times throughout the book; but it isn't explained until the third section of the novel that Katherine is Nadia's niece, the daughter of Nadia's eldest brother, who is the leader of their family.
The sentence and paragraph structure is very well-written, precise, and detailed, but the actual story structure was not the greatest.
Aside from that, the book was absolutely heart-wrenching to read. Nadia had a simple but happy life before ISIS arrived in her home town, and it is so hard to read about her facing struggles she never dreamed she would have to experience. The details of her capture, enslavement, and escape are numbingly fascinating, and I couldn't read the details of her escape quickly enough. I wish there had been more details about her life after escape (again, events began to be told out of order and it was hard to follow the sequence of events), namely about her time with Yazda, the organization to help free other sabayya and aid Yazidis in need.

r
richibi
Mar 05, 2018

the voice telling the story here sounds as innocent as Anne Frank's, and the horrors Nadia Murad suffered are equally as heinous, if not even more so - "The Last Girl" is an important document, it should be read by many

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