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Synopsis

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.

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In the Shadow of the Banyan
Average rating
4 / 5
Beautiful and poetic storytelling
June 23rd, 2014
I absolutely loved and enjoyed reading every page of this book. The author has a real gift of story telling. I particularly enjoyed the poetry that was weaved into the story. It brought a kind of beauty to the sadness. I would definitely recommend it and also add it to my favourites as it is a book that lingers with you long after it is finished.
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2 reviews
Beautiful and poetic storytelling
June 23rd, 2014
I absolutely loved and enjoyed reading every page of this book. The author has a real gift of story telling. I particularly enjoyed the poetry that was weaved into the story. It brought a kind of beauty to the sadness. I would definitely recommend it and also add it to my favourites as it is a book that lingers with you long after it is finished.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

2 reviews
February 20th, 2014
Author was from Cambodia, although not an autobiography, she does draw form personal experience. Well written and a good book. She does a good job of describing the hardships of Cambodia when the Khmer Rouge took power through the eyes of a young girl. She does this without having to be gory, most of the violence is suggested.
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1 review
in the shadow of the banyan
September 17th, 2013
unable to put this book down. amazing strength of this woman and her mother to stay alive.
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2 reviews
in the shadow of the banyan
September 17th, 2013
unable to put this book down. amazing strength of this woman and her mother to stay alive.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

2 reviews

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