In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner
Seven-year old Raami is a privileged daughter of a Cambodia prince. When
the Khmer Rouge comes to power in 1975 her family is uprooted from the
capital Phnom Penh and go to live in their summer home with relatives.
Soon they are again moved out and what follows is a constant moving
Raami's story is heart-breaking as her relatives fall
victim to the regime. Over the next four years she endures starvation,
brutality and forced labour. She meets both the good and bad side of the
human race. Raami clings to her father by remembering his legends and
This is both a horrific book and an awesome book.
Horrific in the fact that the story mirrors the author's true
experiences and awesome in the beautiful writing. The reader can not
help but fight along side of Raami and cheer her on at every awful turn
in her young life. This is a beautifully wrought tale of human
First Line: "War entered my childhood world not with the blasts of rockets and bombs
but with my father's footsteps as he walked through the hallway,
passing my bedroom toward his."