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The Ugly Daughter

The Ugly Daughter is a thrilling memoir, the gripping true story of a young girl who witnessed horrific murders and who overcame cruel abuse and unimaginable tragedies to find love and happiness. Julia Legian's emotionally, harrowing and fascinating memoir reveals how she endured a series of unbelievable tragedies and heartbreaking abuse from the hands of her parents and great aunty, and how she rose above her horrendous past to have a successful and happy life. It's beautifully written with simplicity and shocking honesty. The Ugly Daughter is a wonderful reminder that regardless of your social background or environment you came from, you can rise above the tragedy and survive. This book also clearly demonstrates that anything is possible if only you have firm faith in God or your creator. It's an amazing story of miracles, shocking reality of domestic violence, survival and extraordinary luck. This really is a powerful and touching story that must be read. This volume covers Julia's life from growing up in Vietnam to the journey to Sungei Besi refugee camp when her family escaped the horrors and the aftermath of the Vietnam War. The second volume of the story, not yet released, is in production and has legal implications that have to be carefully managed. It covers their arrival in Australia and the challenges and nightmares that they faced there. Editorial Reviews "We have no idea. No-one not brought up in a war-torn country can have any conception of what it's like. This is a story of a little girl who was. Bodies are commonplace, death unsurprising, and poverty and danger extreme and ever-present. But the worst aspect of it all must have been the utter hopelessness. Most children came to accept the situation. But this little girl didn't. And that is the joy of this book. The Ugly Daughter is the story of a girl growing up in the mess that was '70s Vietnam. Born in 1971, she was to find herself right in the thick of that mess. [...] Written with great wit and wisdom 30 years after the event, The Ugly Daughter is about the ugliest of events. Yet the reader is constantly reminded that this is not what this book is really about. Instead, like The Odyssey, it is about the resilience of the human spirit in the face of extraordinary odds, a hugely inspirational and uplifting work. It shows the upside of the motive that drove a young girl to find joy in an execution: the desire to be much she might have been. Because this little girl goes through these horrors and not only survives, but does so with her spirit and sense of humour firmly intact. Surely, we in this lucky country of Australia, can do likewise? Perhaps we could start by welcoming our fellow-humans instead of turning our back on them." - Charles Boag author of Mr Rainbow series "Julia Legian's memoir is among the most harrowing and moving life stories I have come across. While the life in Vietnam her family escaped from was beyond any horror fiction, unfortunately the children did not escape their torturers, her parents. The author's rise through luck, determination and intelligence to a place where she could write and publish a book in a second language is both a relief and a testament to the human spirit. 4 stars and 5 tissue boxes." - Tom Flood author of Oceana Fine
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About the Author

Julia Legian (aka Loan Thi Nguyen) was born in 1972, South Vietnam. Or was it 1971? Nobody really knows so she prefers to err on the young side. In the 80s her parents fled Vietnam as "boat people" and immigrated to Australia. For most of her adult life she has worked in real estate. She quit her job in 2002 and became a successful property investor. In 2004 she set up her own business as a buyer agent to help others follow her footsteps. She's now officially retired to concentrate full time on writing. She's happily married to Simion and has a wonderful, kind and loving son Jeremy. Dawn Burke is a creative writing teacher and editor. She has published books on writing and has written and published works of fiction. She has two beautiful daughters and nine grandchildren. In her view, working with Julia Legian has been an honour and a privilege. Helping Julia to recount the story of her struggle for survival against painful obstacles, has been a rewarding experience.

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