Toto66's Reviews > In the Shadow of the Banyan

In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner
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Aug 20, 2012

it was amazing

The period in which this novel takes place was perhaps the best time of my life. While I was enthralled with beer, fraternities and my hot red mustang people in Cambodia were being slaughtered for something as simple as having an education. This book was heartbreaking, not only by the events that occurred a world away from my little Iowa college campus, but by the fact that we had no idea what the Khmer Rouge was or the atrocities perpetrated by these crazed 'freedom fighters' in search of a Utopian society. It is always amazing to me that countries turn a blind eye to mass murder, then come back and say later...if we had only known. The book was poetic in it's presentation of the struggles of one family and although 'loosely' based on the author's real life experiences, was devastatingly real as told by Raami, the 7 year old narrator of the story, yet it never got maudlin. The father's stories told to us by Raami were, in the end, the only thing that brought hope to her and ultimately led to her survival. Although I gave this book a five, I found myself skipping ahead more times than I normally do in a five star book - at minimum it's a 4.5!!
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