, January 06, 2013
(view all comments by Laureen)
Although written about the revolution of 1975 - 1979 in Cambodia as promulgated by the Khmer Rouge, the story is told from the vantage point of a child, age 7. Her views touch on atrocities but somehow the darkness of the times do not over power her struggles to survive. The little girl is descended from one of two lineages of Cambodian royalty. Her family line has not been in power for years but they are lumped with the intellectuals, educated and upper classes of the country when the revolution begins. The Khmer Rouge strove to eliminate those people; they killed between one and two million people! Her father was a poet and told her many stories that help carry her through the horrific days of those years. Her father is taken away early in the story but left her with Hope - and with a capital H. Vaddey Ratner writes so beautifully - the wind and the moon become like characters. It is just an amazingly hopeful book as love carries the little girl along. And, it is incredible that Ratner lived the story. She was five in 1975. I read that as an author she wanted to write about the intense and universal desire to live. She has succeeded and this is one of those books that I will return to for inspiration.