Review of Fire Road: The Napalm Girl’s Journey Through the Horrors of War to Faith, Forgiveness, and Peace, by Kim Phuc Phan Thi

The true story of Kim Phuc Phan Thi is mesmerizing. Captured in an iconic photo running burned and naked from a napalm bombing during the Vietnam War, Kim became known as the “Napalm Girl”.

Before the war, Kim’s family was well-to-do, and Kim was bright, studious, fun-loving, and even mischievous. That began to change as soldiers ravished the land and the family’s belongings. Everything changed forever for Kim at 9-years-old when the fiery napalm burned her back and left arm. Pain became Kim’s ever present companion.

Kim realized that people treated her differently once she was so scarred. Kim believed she was unlovable and would never marry. She poured herself into her studies and devotion to the many gods her family worshiped. She thought perhaps her life could have meaning if she became a pediatrician and she was able to help others.

Her studies were repeatedly interrupted when the government took her out of class for propaganda tours. She was famous because of the photograph, and reporters from across the globe wanted to know what had become of the Napalm Girl. However her government translators told the journalists lies, even making up a story that she was now married and the mother of a child. Kim fell so far behind in school she was forced to withdraw. She became despondent and contemplated suicide.

One day while hiding in the library from government officials who she knew would come to take her on another propaganda tour, she found a Christian Bible. Kim’s troubles did not end when she turned to the Christian God, but in fact became worse because her family forsook her. Kim had no one but God to turn to for help.

Read Fire Road to see if Kim stays with her new religion or goes back to the ways of her family. Does the hatred and unforgiveness that rages in Kim consume her?
The language is a little stilted since English is not Kim’s native language. I also believe the book could be improved by editing and condensing. Nevertheless it is a worthy read or listen.

#FireRoad #NapalmGirl #VietnamWar @TyndaleMomentum