Diane S ☔'s Reviews > In the Shadow of the Banyan

In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner
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's review
Jul 29, 2012

really liked it
Read from July 10 to 29, 2012

The killing fields of Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge in power from 1975-1979 before the Vietnamese drove them out, by this time one to two million Cambodians were either killed, starved to death or committed suicide. Raami is seven, her father a prince and a poet who has instilled in her a love for stories and words, which he told her would give her wings and allow her to see the beauty in even the ugliest things.
a the start of this, when they are herded into the streets and taken from camp to camp, they are a family of nine, by the end only 2 will survive. Told entirely from the viewpoint of Raami, this book and the way it is told has a poignancy and yet a strange beauty too as it is not only about a horrible revolution but about the strong bond and love between a father and daughter. This is in fact the authors own story, though she was only 5 when the actual revolution happened, and as she explains in the afterward she writes this book to honor her father and those who never made it through this horrific time. This book is beautiful;y written, my only question is would a seven and eight yr. old have the capacity to relate all these things she had seen? I decided that what she did';t understand at the beginning, after everything she sees and experiences, she would have grown up relatively quickly so I think that this is entirely plausible. Great book and one I would definitely recommend.

ARC from NetGalley.
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Reading Progress

07/11 page 50
07/25 page 125
37.0% ""It was clear to me now that while books could be torn and burned, the stories they held needn't be lost or forgotten.""
07/28 page 300
89.0% ""Th prophecy, papa had explained that day long ago, said a darkness would settle upon Cambodia. There would be empty houses and empty roads, the country would be governed by those with no morals or teaching, and blood would course as high as to reach the underbelly of an elephant. In the end only the deaf, and the mute would survive.""
02/14 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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Alena After readding about Armenia and ElSalvador, I might as well dive into Cambodia.

message 2: by Dee (new)

Dee I need to read this one, I really liked the other one about the killing fields that I read - if you can say like is the right term...

Diane S ☔ It is a very good book, one not without hope.

message 4: by Dee (new)

Dee so I found out today that one of my co-workers knows the author and was a beta reader for this way back when - which was totally cool

message 5: by Dee (new)

Dee so I found out today that one of my co-workers knows the author and was a beta reader for this way back when - which was totally cool

Diane S ☔ That is awesome! My boss is friends with the author Melanie Black. She lives in her neighborhood. Six degrees of separation and all that. So I'm guessing your co-worker really liked the book?

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