"THE SHADOW OF THE BANYAN" BY VADDEY RATTNER
FICTION - Simon & Schuster (August 7, 2012)
(FROM AMAZON.COM) Book Description
Publication Date: August 7, 2012
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 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 testament to the transcendent power of narrative and a brilliantly wrought tale of human resilience.
MY REVIEW:It has been very rare that I find a book where the words are just so delicious and lyrical that I find myself re-reading pages over and over again. It is like savoring the flavor of a delicate french pastry, or running your fingers through a luxurious blanket, or losing yourself in an incredible Opera's Aria. These are moments that make me grateful and I wish would never end. This book was just that type of experience for me. AND, just as an added bonus, the story and characters were just as gratifying! This book truly has it all! The complexity of these characters was heart wrenching and inspiring. There was not a single page of this book where I felt bored, not a single lull. The whole book was like taking a ride on a boat down a river, sometimes calm but sometimes turbulent, it just continued to carry me through to the very end. It has been about a month since I read this book and I think about it often. I await the day that Vaddey Rattner releases her next book because I will be the first in line. WHATEVER YOU DO, DON'T MISS THIS BOOK! THESE ONLY COME ALONG A FEW TIMES IN A READERS LIFETIME! 5 OUT OF 5!