Customer Reviews for

In the Shadow of the Banyan

Average Rating 5
( 15 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(13)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 1
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2012

    This is a wonderful book. Beautifully written. I slowed down m

    This is a wonderful book. Beautifully written. I slowed down my
    reading to take in every word. I highly recommend this book. You will
    not be disappointed.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 29, 2012

    This novel is a work of the heart. It is Vaddey Ratner's chance

    This novel is a work of the heart. It is Vaddey Ratner's chance to put meaning to the lives of those she lost. She is bringing them back through her words so that others may know that they once existed on this Earth. This novel brings to life a period of history that I never fully understood before reading her book. I knew about the "killing fields" and I knew that Pol Pot was a very very bad man but I did not know the details of what occurred in Cambodia during the late 1970′s. In the Shadow of the Banyan, brings the horror and the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge into the light of day. While a heavy focus of the novel is the day to day life of under the Khmer Rouge, the stars of this novel truly are the Cambodian people who fought to survive and to hold on to those they loved whether in the flesh or in memory.

    This is Vaddey Ratner's debut novel. It is an amazing debut! Although all of the main events in the story that happen to Raami also happened to Vaddey, she chose to write it as fiction rather then non-fiction so that she could more easily tie events together and fill in the gaps of memory that would be expected after so long a time. I am grateful that she put her experiences out as fiction because I think she will reach more people through fiction. I was a young child during the period covered in this book yet I knew very little of the piece of history. As I read In the Shadow of the Banyan, I found myself constantly going to Google to search for more information on this time period, filling in my own gaps of knowledge.

    I recommend that you read this book. I also recommend that you read it with a tissue box within your reach. As Chris Cleave, the author of Little Bee, said this truly is a novel that is "heartbreaking and impossibly beautiful" at the same time. It feels weird to say a novel is beautiful when it is about such a seriously sad subject, but this novel is beautiful. Read this book!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 27, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Moving. I was part way through this book (on Kindle - no back c

    Moving.

    I was part way through this book (on Kindle - no back cover to read) before I realised that it was semi-autobiographical. Knowing this made it so much more powerful. It is a story of amazing courage and determination to live. The author was only 5 years old in 1975, when the change in regime that resulted in the atrocities of the Killing Fields of Cambodia, occurred.

    The narrator of this novel is seven at the start. She is from a wealthy family, related to the King, and has never known any hardship. As news filters through of the Khmer Rouge's uprising in the town, the adults realise that their lives could be changed as a result, but no one could have had any inkling of the serious nature of this change.
    The 'Organisation's' method of control was to instil fear and panic, separating family groups and forcing everyone to work at a punishing rate, on megre rations. All this is recorded historically, but the strength of this book was the incidious way that things seemed to get gradually worse and worse, along with the telling of events with the naiivity of a seven year old.

    For someone who didn't speak a word of English until she was eleven years old, Vaddey Ratner's descriptions are wonderful:
    "...the whole house was hot and stuffy, like the inside of a balloon."
    and "Pok looked at me. Silence seemed to have overtaken him again. Then his face broke open like the morning sun."

    There is an author's note at the back of the book, explaining how she came to write it and how difficult it was to relive these events. I sincerely hope it was theraputic for her.

    An excellent, if harrowing, read. Highly recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2012

    Beautifully written

    Although I have not completed the book yet, I was instantly drawn in to the story by the descriptive writing. The characters have a very real feel to them and I am eager to read more! I highly recommend.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2012

    I really enjoyed this novel by Vaddey Ratner. It was extremely

    I really enjoyed this novel by Vaddey Ratner. It was extremely well written and although it is told from the perspective of a child, it is full of meaningful insight. I really didn't know much about the Cambodian Revolution before starting this novel but Ratner does an exceptional job of weaving true historical details into her semi-autobiographical novel. The author's notes at the end of the book were definitely worth reading as well. I would recommend this novel very highly!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2013

    Amazing! The beauty in every word and phrase make this an excep

    Amazing! The beauty in every word and phrase make this an exceptional book. The characters will touch your heart ; they are real and touchingly brave, and you become very invested in their lives and circumstances. . If ever there were a perfect book, this is it....don't miss it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 28, 2013

    Oh my goodness, I'd not read anything informative on what really

    Oh my goodness, I'd not read anything informative on what really happened to the people of Vietnam or Cambodia during the 1970's so I learned a lot from reading this book. The strength and courage of this girl and her whole family really was amasing, the part that broke my heart and brought tears to my eyes was when her little sister dies, heartbreaking, I loved how it ends! Amasing story. I recommend this book, especially if your interested in other countries and people.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 8, 2013

    Phenomenal and Stunning

    Think of war-torn 1970's Cambodia. Based on true experiences of an upper class family, forced from their Phnom Penh palace to live in crowded, makeshift housing and slave in countryside rice paddies. Revolutionary Soldiers seize the "Tiger Prince" father, a famous poet, leaving the mourning wife and two daughters to confront famine, disease, monsoons, pestilence, and loss of self-worth. Amid these hardships, there is much beauty and knowledge found in the lush landscapes, views of the night sky, and kindnesses of the rural people. Written from the daughter's viewpoint, these pages contain hope, resilience, and determination to seek a fulfilling life, thanks to teachings of her beloved father, who never fades from memory.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 9, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    The novel In a Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner was highly

    The novel In a Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner was highly recommended by Simon & Schuster in their September newsletter. I also had a connection to this novel from the past.
    Synopsis:
    Raami and her family begin their story in their home in Phnom Phenh. They are a branch of the royal family. There has been much war and conflict in Cambodia during the years of 1970-1975. One day Raami’s father comes home and says the war has ended. What started as optimism after the war’s end quickly changes when the Khmer Rouge comes to power. Everyone is asked to exit the city because the Americans will bomb it. There is no choice but to leave or die. Raami and her family think this is a short term effect, but is it really? Will the family be able to stay together?
    My Thoughts:
    This novel interested me because in high school I was part of a drama club that performed the play To Destroy You is No Loss. So to prepare for this review I watched the Killing Fields which I also saw in high school. I also researched who the Khmer Rouge was. I was dismayed to learn that even after their reign ended in 1979 they maintained some power. I know that this novel had to be therapeutic for the author who is also a survivor of the Khmer Rouge period.
    The author Vaddey Ratner was a princess in the Cambodia royal family. She had to hide this fact during her time under the Khmer Rouge or risk being shot. I found this story heart breaking and had a hard time reading about the deaths in this book.
    Do you think you could survive something like this?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 1