This vivid chronicle of an upcountry district in the heart of Siam
is told through the rise of Ruen, an aspiring timber trader
who leads a small community of farmers in its fight against nature
and against man at the turn of the last century (1890-1909).
Epidemics, fires, floods, famine and banditry
forge a common will to survive and prosper despite all odds.
Children are born and die. Families flee and return.
Under the lure of money, simple men break their words,
until they know better. Freedom and friendship
are the guiding principles in Ruen's fighting world.
He marries Sutjai, beds her best friend Jampa,
and worships Lamiat, the wife of his worst enemy.
This epic social fresco and ode to human endeavour
and wilfulness, written in lush, swift prose,
will take you through a wide sweep of emotions.
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