someday ill be in company of all....

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

In the shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner

Title: In the shadow of the banyan
Author: Vaddey Ratner
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 322
Price: Rs 1463
Genre: Historic fiction
Ratings: 4.5 out of 5
Source: Personal

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Seven year old Raami's life is torn apart by Khmer Rouge take over..From a priviledge royal family to constant struggle for everyday food and shelter, her life takes a turn about..Her innocence has no time anymore...Through Cambodian famine and everyday struggle to sustain life, Raami's life goes through a whirlpool of events...

This was  one of the books I had high hope on for this year...Born to Neak Ang Mechas , prince of Cambodia Raami is a princess in every way...A royal life with all its luxury awaits her until Khmer Rouge twists the destiny of many lives in her country...Raami just flew from the book and stayed with me for a long time..From a life filled with priviledge and happiness, her life is shattered beyond she can recognise..Infamous Khmer Rouge's tyranny leaves Raami no where to go, nowhere to run..It leaves her family homeless ., her cousins and friends are all torn apart...Living in village working in field  for 'the organization'., she striken by the grief of losing her loved ones, with no food and laborious work to go by....The agricultural reform that was introduced by Rouge's dictatorship forced everyone to work in field which resulted in famine and death in a larger scale..All descriptions are short and crisp giving the reader the apt picture in a comprehensive flow..Still the tyranny doesn't grab all the attention in the book, It is Raami and her life that is marvelously done...She is forced to live in a countryside along many other villagers and her father is sent away for re-education...Like Hitler's concentration camps, 're-education', 'reorganization' also strikes a chord...Raami's innocence has been marvelously portrayed through various incidents, like Raami's inability to understand why all of a sudden her cousins are disappearing, why her loving father is unable to live with her, and for all this she considers herself to be the reason...Genocide has been hauntingly portrayed..The loveliness of Cambodian myths are amazingly written...Love and affection becomes Raami's lifeline, through all these distressing period..The family is kind to everything around even at the face of cruelty....Ratner's language is simple and elegant...The pages just fly as the reading pace sprintes.... This is one of the best books released this year..Its a heart aching tale of girl whose innocence, and childhood is snatched away and she is forced to grow up quickly making adult like decisions.....I would recommend this book to everyone...

1 comment:

  1. I have read several Non - Fiction books about the Khmer Rouge including a biography of Pol Pot. Of course it is all very disturbing but strangely fascinating at the same time. It is terrifying when ideology becomes so important and fanatical based that people are willing to commit mass murder and destroy an entire society.

    Looking at it all from the point of view of the Royal family sounds particularly interesting.


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