Friday, January 17, 2014

Friday Books: Cambodia

This week I finally finished a book; it took me over two weeks to read it. The title is In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner.

This book was beautifully written. I loved the language. The story, however, is not a pleasant one. I was expecting the level of gruesomeness, but it's still hard to read it. The narrator starts out as a 7-year-old girl in Cambodia when Khmer Rouge is taking over. In fact, it is a fictionalized story of the author's own experience.

I cannot imagine surviving what she experienced at such a young age. She was a very precocious, bright girl. That probably had something to do with her survival. It was very interesting, and yet at the same time, it took me a while to get through this book; something about it did not grab me. The girl and her father were poetic, "dreamy" communicators. Maybe that is what I did not relate to. Sometimes I felt it dragged a bit as she cogitated over stories and poems.

Otherwise, it was a good story, and a good look into the psyche of revolutionaries and how their ideals get twisted due to past injustices and love of power.

Now I'm reading a book about a girl in Japan. I'll report on this book next Friday. (I'm glad I'm back on track.)

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