Allyson Langston's Reviews > In the Shadow of the Banyan

In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner
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Aug 14, 12

Read from August 12 to 14, 2012

This is one of the most powerful books I've read--maybe ever. At the book's end, the author writes of this novel: "I didn't want just to translate my family's experience, a Cambodian experience, to a foreign audience; I wanted to take the readers and replant them in the fertile ground I'd sprung from, to let them take root and sprout, and to see my world as their own." Mission accomplished. There were times during reading that I had to put it down and walk away because it was just too much to imagine . . . the atrocities this child witnessed and the cruelty of the Khmer Rouge against its own people. I knew nothing -- I mean nothing -- about this prior to reading her story and it's hard for me to imagine that now. If you're looking for a light hearted, fun read, this isn't it. But if you're looking for a beautifully written and incredibly inspiring, heartbreaking, and hope-filled novel, I highly recommend this.
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