In the Shadow of the Banyan

By Vaddey Ratner
(Thorndike Press, Hardcover, Large Print, 9781410452313, 571pp.)

Publication Date: November 2012

Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover, Paperback

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the August 2012 Indie Next List
“Ratner's remarkable debut novel transforms her childhood experiences living through the horrors of the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia into the finest of literary fiction. The story is narrated by the precocious Raami, whose privileged life is shattered when soldiers ravage Phnom Penh and send her aristocratic family to work camps in the countryside. The powerful writing sweeps you along like the broad Mekong River through the years of heartbreaking loss, hard labor, and starvation, and yet somehow, like Raami, you emerge from the book sobered, but with spirit unbroken. A powerful testament to the tenacity of love and family in the face of unspeakable inhumanity.”
-- Caitlin Caufiled, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA



Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. According to the prophecy that Grandmother Queen tells Raami at the beginning of the novel, “There will remain only so many of us as rest in the shadow of a banyan tree.” What does the prophecy mean to Raami when she first hears it? How does her belief in the prophecy change by the end of the novel? After reading, what does the title of this novel mean to you?

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