If you’ve visited Cambodia, you will appreciate this haunting novel about Teera who returns to Cambodia after growing up in the US. Raised by her aunt, she returns because of a mysterious letter written by “The Old Musician.” Memories from the past sweep her up in the struggle Cambodia had during the time of the Khmer Rouge. Both her memories of childhood before emigrating to America, and those of the Old Musician, who was forced to commit atrocities on his fellow Cambodians by the Khmer Rouge are heartbreaking and, yet the book ends with the positive spirit felt in Cambodia today.
An incredibly insightful and powerful story of the history of Cambodia.
The author was a survivor of the Khmer Rouge. That, combined with the ultimate victory of Pol Pot ultimately destroyed the country. There are references to the past - the U.S. invasion of Cambodia in order to eliminate Viet Cong resources. It is a testament to the incredible courage of those who would accept death rather than surrender to the brutal and inhumane savagery of those who were led by this self-appointed monster. How can we call ourselves 'intelligent beings' when we have, and continued to allow these aberrations of humanness to exist? This book moved me so very much; these actions continue to proliferate throughout the Asian world. The people are only puppets to be used by those who seek power and control. I regret that I am unable to sufficiently state my sadness for the losses of the Author - Vaddey Ratner.
Sentences are overly descriptive, in my opinion, and made following the plot cumbersome; and I lost interest in what could have been a really good historical fiction.
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