“In the Shadow of the Banyan,” by Vaddey Ratner is a powerful and heartbreaking book based on the horrific experiences Ratner and her family, and so many others, suffered in the 1970s when civil war broke out in Cambodia.
More than 2 million lives were lost when Khmer Rouge soldiers overthrew the government. Determined to make the country dependent on “the Organization,” the regime tried to rid Cambodia of the literate and educated. Soldiers split up families, banishing them to various areas of the country, forcing them to toil from dusk to dawn with little to eat, suffering illness and torture.
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