This “unputdownable” (Better Homes and Gardens) New York Times bestselling novel tells the powerful and inspiring story of a girl who comes of age during the Cambodian genocide.
In the Shadow of the Banyan is an unforgettable celebration of innocence and the transcendent power of imagination, a work Little Bee author Chris Cleave calls “one of the most extraordinary acts of storytelling I have ever encountered…utterly heartbreaking and impossibly beautiful.”
For seven-year-old Raami, the collapse of her childhood world begins with the footsteps of her father returning home in the early dawn hours, bringing details of the misery and upheaval in the streets of Cambodia’s capital city. It is March of 1975, and the civil war between the US-backed government and the Khmer Rouge insurgency has reached its climax. Soon her family’s life of carefully guarded royal privilege is swept up in the chaos of revolution. Over the next four years, as Raami endures the deaths of loved ones, starvation, and labor camp, she clings to the only remaining vestige of childhood—the mythical legends and poems her father told her. In a climate of systematic violence where memory is sickness and justification for execution, Raami fights for her improbable survival.
With stunningly lyrical prose and instantly beloved characters, In the Shadow of the Banyan is “a tale of perseverance, hope, and the drive toward life” (The Washington Post).
“Lyrical . . . It’s Raami’s mother who will stay in your heart . . . Somehow she retains the will to survive and the strength to help others, fiercely telling her daughter, ‘Remember who you are.’”