One thought on “Under the Banyan Tree”

  1. I disliked the writing style of this novel. It was suppose to be in the voice of a 7 year old girl - however, it felt like a creative writing contest for an English major. I am glad that I kept with it.In the first part of the book - it was all style and no substance - but the second part of the book, after the family was relocated really picked up. After all, the story is about Cambodia during the Pol Pot reign. More than a million people we killed. The story became very engrosing, telling of h [...]

  2. I wolfed this book down. I was much taken with the viewpoint of the narrator, a 7 year old girl crippled by polo who is a member of the royal line in Cambodia. It is the time of the Khmer Rouge so the historical period furnished all the suspense. Dhillon was able to convey the horror of this time without manipulation of our emotions and without driving me from this difficult material. She did a wonderful job of evoking the time and place and culture of both the poor and privileged of Cambodia. A [...]

  3. I finished this book a month ago, and it is still haunting me. Beautifully written story of a young girl's perspective of the takeover of Cambodia by the Khmer Rouge. I rarely underline phrases in books anymore, but some of the phrases in this novel compelled me to reach for my pen and to re-read them over and over again. It was even more compelling when I finished the novel and realized it was historical fiction. I think this is the best book I've read all year.

  4. This is my first book that took place in Cambodia in the 70s. I was stunned at yet another gut wrenching story of killing innocent people by their own. Beautifully written and one that has me on a search for more.

  5. I didn't know about this part of the Cambodian History during the Kmer Rouge reign of terror. To have a first hand account of the atrocities visited upon the people who were perceived as enemies of the state was truly sad.

  6. This book broke my heart. Delving deep into the Cambodian genocide, it tells the story of a girl who watches revolutionaries tear her family apart. Born a member of the royal family, and raised with a number of privileges, she and her family are forced from their homes in the Capitol and relocated as workers in the rice patties. Along the way, she loses many relatives to violence, disease and hunger. Her ability to adapt and her determination to survive are tested daily.

  7. Historical fiction is often one of my favorite genres as I love to learn about periods in time that I know little detail about. This book is set during the horrific time of the Khmer Rouge (Cambodia). Real (it seems to be close to a memoir) and incredibly, terribly heartbreaking. Didn't love it, not exactly sure why, but I would recommend it - despite its sadness. Be warned.

  8. The story starts off a bit scattered and slow, but what the narrator has to tell is engaging. Her privileged family is ripped apart by war in Cambodia, but somehow love and kindness endures. I enjoyed the story, but the writing is so-so. It improves towards the end though!

  9. It was hard to get started with this book, but once I got into it, I couldn't put it down. It was hard to think it was based on a real experience that happened during my life time. But I'm happy with how it ended and felt that it expanded my world view.

  10. This book is truly a work of art. The incongruence of the trials of the characters and the language of the story is jarring, yet beautiful. Be sure to read the author's endnote.

  11. I loved this book. Hard to believe that this went on while I was in high school and I was completely unaware. Makes me sad.

  12. A small glimpse into the horrors suffered by Cambodian citizens under the Khmer Rouge, a subject about which I inexcusably knew very little.

  13. Beautiful! Heartbreaking! A vivid picture of the history of Khmer Rouge genocide of the Cambodian people told through the eyes of a child.

  14. Cambodia seems to be a popular location for books right now as this is the third one I've come across in the last few months. This one would make a great book club selection.

  15. Beautifully written - a feast for the senses. Tragic and depressing - a tale (fact-based) of a girl's survival.

  16. I wasn't loving this book, and chose to put it down. Then, I read some reviews that convinced me to give it another chance. I am really glad I did.

  17. what a fascinating story - can't beleive how much of it was real. I was rather young when all of this happened.

  18. Searing account of living under totalitarian regime. While fictional on the surface, it does reflect the author's experience. Hard to read but harder to put down.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *