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Music of the Ghosts


A love story for things lost and restored, a lyrical hymn to the power of...
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Discuss Music of the Ghosts by Vaddey Ratner:
Several times in the novel, Teera's first encounters are infused with questions from the past. How does the author's writing convey this interplay of perception, hope, and memory? What does it reveal about the characters?

Created: 03/28/18

Replies: 3

Posted Mar. 28, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1626

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Several times in the novel, Teera's first encounters are infused with questions from the past. How does the author's writing convey this interplay of perception, hope, and memory? What does it reveal about the characters?

Several times in the novel, Teera's first encounters are infused with questions from the past, as in her descriptions of meeting the Old Musician and Dr. Narunn. How does the author's writing convey this interplay of perception, hope, and memory? What does it reveal about the characters?


Posted Apr. 03, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
clairelm

Join Date: 01/15/17

Posts: 5

RE: Several times in the novel, Teera's first encounters are infused with questions from the past. How does the author's writing convey this interplay of perception, hope, and memory? What does it reveal about the characters?

The characters in the book are so scarred with trauma that there are triggers everywhere they look. The author conveys Teena's dilemma so very effectively by allowing her memories to emerge in an organic way, as they naturally occur in life- evoked by a sound, smell or fragmented visual image. Teena's mixed emotions about leaving her stable and safe adult home to explore her past are heightened by the loss of her aunt. A surrogate parent, this loss is traumatic enough for any reader to relate to. Coupled with the trauma of being part of a diaspora and the emotional mix of loss, memory and attempting reconciliation become a heady cocktail that drives the narrative. As her memories emerge they are mixed with new impressions of a country also struggling in the same ways. I'm in awe of author Ratner's skill in blending fact and fiction, for tackling such a complex and nuanced story with grace and kindness and for unflinchingly portraying the cruelty of violent political and cultural upheaval. As a reader I found a resonance to today in these regime changes of the not-so-distant past. Asylum seeking refugees like Teena were the lucky few who were able to grow up scarred but with a chance at wholeness. I have friends who are part of this Cambodian refugee diaspora and today they not only have whole, full, productive lives in safety but also contribute to making their community better out of gratitude for their opportunities.


Posted Apr. 03, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marcia S

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 179

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RE: Several times in the novel, Teera's first encounters are infused with questions from the past. How does the author's writing convey this interplay of perception, hope, and memory? What does it reveal about the characters?

I don't think I cam compete with the eloquence of clairelm's answer! Teera's past had so many unanswered questions, especially about her father's disappearance and her memories of him. Of course, she is mixing the questions about the past with what she perceives to be true at the present time. She has memories emerge as she explores Cambodia on her return. Teera always has hope to find the answers to her questions. The author skillfully weaves these fragments together to produce a compelling story.


Posted Apr. 19, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sylviaann

Join Date: 01/14/18

Posts: 20

RE: Several times in the novel, Teera's first encounters are infused with questions from the past. How does the author's writing convey this interplay of perception, hope, and memory? What does it reveal about the characters?

I found the moving portrayal of lives interwoven by loss, Buddhist wisdom and, most important of all, redemption convey the interplay of perception, hope, and memory.


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