In the Shadow of the Banyan
You are about to read an extraordinary story. It will take you to the very depths of despair and show you unspeakable horrors. It will reveal a gorgeously rich culture struggling to survive through a furtive bow, a hidden ankle bracelet, fragments of remembered poetry. It will ensure that the... show more
You are about to read an extraordinary story. It will take you to the very depths of despair and show you unspeakable horrors. It will reveal a gorgeously rich culture struggling to survive through a furtive bow, a hidden ankle bracelet, fragments of remembered poetry. It will ensure that the world never forgets the atrocities committed by the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia between 1975 and 1979, when an estimated two million people lost their lives. It will give you hope, and it will confirm the power of storytelling to lift us up and help us not only survive but transcend suffering, cruelty, and loss. 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 the Khmer Rouge attempts to strip the population of every shred of individual identity, Raami clings to the only remaining vestige of her childhood— 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 author’s extraordinary gift for language, In the Shadow of the Banyan is a brilliantly wrought tale of human resilience.
Publish date: August 7th 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages no: 322
Edition language: English
Raami, a precocious Cambodian child-princess, narrates this sobering tale of life and loss. It is a fictional version of the author's own family history during the Khmer Rouge's devastating power grab in 1975. Their motto "To destroy you is no loss, to preserve you is no gain" wasn't an idle threat,...
Ratner tells us in her author's note that "Raami's story is in essence my own." This is a novel about love and survival and the power of stories. Raami is just seven-years-old when the novel begins, when the Khmer Rouge comes to power. The murderous regime over the course of four years was responsi...
This was a difficult and painful book to read, especially knowing that it was essentially autobiography. Well written and worth reading, despite the sadness. It's also something I didn't know as much about as I guess I should have.
A powerful, eloquent debut novel about a Cambodian family experiencing the upheavel and terror in the time of the Khmer Rouge told from a young girl's perspective.
I found this one to be a chilling narrative of the brutality that the Khmer Rouge brought to the people of Cambodia in the 1970's. Told from the point of view of a child, Raami, in one day her family and comfortable life is swept away when the revolutionaries evacuate Phnom Pehn, and one by one, Raa...