"There will remain only so many of us as rest in the shadow of a banyan tree..." ~Grandmother Queen
Vaddey Ratner inherits her father's poetic soul, and keeps his memory alive in her novel, In the Shadow of the Banyan. She writes with an imaginative style, giving us a childlike view of the world in the character of Raami. Just like her papa, Raami helps us find the beauty in a life darkened with inexplicable evil. We feel the monsoon rains and discover the joy in simple things like watching a butterfly. We hate the Khmer Rouge as a horribly ruthless regime, but see many of them as child victims of the insanity as well. We come face to face with death and the guilt that comes with it. Raami's will to live is inspiring. Her mama is a survivor too. She tells Raami, "Remember who you are." In the Shadow of the Banyan is a moving tribute to the two million Cambodians who lost their lives in the killing fields.
Interview with Vaddey Ratner: