Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Shadow of the Banyan Tree by Vaddey-Ratner »

The reader and reviewer copied this excerpt not from the book but a reviewer of the book; "I saw a new world through her eyes, a land of geckos scaling the walls, of jeweled beetles and coconut leaves; a place where people have never known the taste of ice, and where naked children are slick like rain-drunk carps, and rockets look like banana blossoms; where people swallow diamonds and hide their eyeglasses to escape the notice and wrath of revolutionaries.
This is an extraordinary book.”
—Jonathan Karp, Executive Vice President and Publisher In The Shadow of the Banyan

I copied this because he has captured the enlightenment of this book; the hope of the main character was compelling and endearing to me as I read how it would conclude. I was exhausted with emotional sensations but grateful the author listened to her father's words and took the time and energy to create this masterpiece.

This author has a desire to honor her father and his brilliant contribution to life as a husband, father, teacher and a wonderful poet and also honor others she loved and lost in the tragic guerilla warfare which occur when Nixon was the USA President in a faraway land; Cambodia.

She relived through hers and others personal tumult experiences by fighting with her personal and past demons to write a fictional story about her private memories of a horrific period in the world's history and her childhood.

She was brilliant with her words pouring out her soul and pen the story with elegant language and thoughtful poetry by mingling her actual and fictional memories into a book full of memories of hers and others. These memories of the characters are tremendous heart wrenching reality descriptions of the atrophies which occur behind the borders and the suffering of the refugees who suffered at the murderous hands of these misguided rebels.

This reader thought it would help to outline some history to really appreciate this author’s depth of emotional investment she dedicated to writing and publishing the truth for all to see.

Not many in America and possibly other countries were aware of the tragedies which occur in the late 70's when Nixon was President. The invasion of Cambodia and the torture of refugees by closed minded sick rebels who were brainwashed as young children to become terrorists, armed with weapons and instilled with a manipulative agenda in their minds.

The commandoes sent them out to the villages to pretend to be friends to the residents of Cambodia and then forced them into enlisting as soldiers to fight the enemies. Those people who defiant those in charge were punished severely with hideous torture of guerilla warfare.

Some individuals and their families who were brave and disobey the commanders’ orders were torn away from each other and transported to a work camp or worse, never to be seen again. Those who went against the rebels were unfortunately taken hostage and punished to be strip of their dignity and their lives. Later the rebels attacked those who did not fit their definition of the idea comrade. No one was safe for madness reign in the country of Cambodia as the new regime ravishes the lands and all material goods and attack the families.

It was an attempt to have the pheasants assist the rebels in taking over Cambodia to create hide-outs and a killing agenda for an execution mission against the enemies, the Vietnamese. .

This author has honour her loved ones and defiant her enemies and did not stay silence about the atrophies of this warfare. She came to realization that the story must be written to be a memorial for herself, father and her loves ones. She wrote an amazing touching and brilliant story about loveable characters, young Raami and her family as they navigated as hostages through the harsh and beautiful lands to holding cells; be a Buddha sanctuary or a pheasant’s home. They suffer as slaves in labor concentration camps, suffer through the misery of poverty, starvation and inhuman abuse.

Raami the character at the age of seven lost her family and witnessed bloody slaughter of the refugees. No child should experience such horror at such a tender age. She had two loving parents and a strong network that cherish her and give her strength to survival to be a fighter and seek for hope in the littlest gift to all things even in the midst of a holocaust.

The fragile bonds and commitment with her family was heart wrenching and fulfilling as they became her life-line to survive through the bewildering atrocities of war. The compassion and depth of the author's insight was breath-taking and harsh at the same time. This reader is still dealing with the after effects of reading this story.

It is awesome, beautiful, heart wrenching, emotional draining and uplifting at the same time. It is truly a gift and a warning that we need to awaken to the warfare in other countries and help these young survivors make it through to be alive to live an independent and free life away from the reality of harsh warfare.

This reader believes this book could become a blessing upon society if the leaders heard her views. I applaud the author for listening to her father's wise wisdom and taking flight and write this memorial to him and her loved ones who were tragically sacrificed in this madness as if she wants everyone to realize no tragedy should hold anyone back from their dreams, no matter what their circumstances are or were. When you come to the conclusion there is a bonus an interview with the author and how she took flight to write a haunting and hopeful tale. The imaginary characters as well as the real ones in the mind of the author were beyond powerful drawing the reader into her world of joy and sorrow, love and hate and forgiveness.

The book can be locate at

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