In the Shadow of the Banyan Kindle Fire To download now please click the link below.
Told from the tender perspective of a young girl who comes of age amid the Cambodian killing fields, this searing first novel—based on the author’s personal story—has been hailed by Little Bee author Chris Cleave as “a masterpiece…utterly heartbreaking and impossibly beautiful.” For seven-year-old Raami, the shattering end of childhood begins with the footsteps of her father returning home in the early dawn hours bringing details of the civil war that has overwhelmed the streets of Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital. Soon the family’s world of carefully guarded royal privilege is swept up in the chaos of revolution and forced exodus.
Over the next four years, as she endures the deaths of family members, starvation, and brutal forced labor, Raami clings to the only remaining vestige of childhoodâ€”the mythical legends and poems told to her by her father. In a climate of systematic violence where memory is sickness and justification for execution, Raami fights for her improbable survival. Displaying the authorâ€™s extraordinary gift for language, In the Shadow of the Banyan is testament to the transcendent power of narrative and a brilliantly wrought tale of human resilience.
Reviews This is one of the best novels I have read in a long time! It is heartbreaking and beautifully written by the author, Vaddey Ratner, whose own story is illuminated. Raami had been struck as a baby with polio. She limped and wore a brace. She saw the world through her father's eyes. His stories and his poems gave Raami hope for the future, as a "cripple," and amidst the destruction and violence of the Civil War of Cambodia that ripped Raami's entire family from their home and led them, along with millions of other families to a transient lifestyle, being carted from one village or "camp" to another. The Prime Minister was executed along with other important leaders. Phnom Penh burned. Bourgeois life had ended in Cambodia. There was no more religious practice in the "Democratic" newly liberated Cambodia. The Khmer Rouge regime, in four years, beat and starved two million people in the name of the "revolution." Families were interrogated and separated. Raami's father, the closest to her, was taken away. All that was left of him was a book of his poems. Raami's uncle and his family were separated from Raami, her mother and Raami's younger sister. Raami's immediate family suffered unspeakable hardship. They worked from dawn to dusk, being taken from one rural place to another. They planted rice and built walls to prevent the monsoon floodings. The old world had been destroyed. Universal terror took over. Raami witnessed her sister's death and the beatings and death of her friends and family. Her uncle hanged himself, unable to live, knowing that he buried his own wife and his twin children. Raami became mute, but continued to live because her papa had given her wings in the stories he had told her and the poetry she had memorized. This historical novel will haunt me, as did the historical novels coming from China after Mao's regime. We should never forget the cruelty that people have shown towards each other. _____________________________________________________________
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Published on May 5, 2013