BookBrowse Reviews Music of the Ghosts by Vaddey Ratner

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Music of the Ghosts

by Vaddey Ratner

Music of the Ghosts by Vaddey Ratner X
Music of the Ghosts by Vaddey Ratner
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     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Apr 2017, 336 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 3, 2018, 336 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Chris Fredrick

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In this soulful novel, a survivor of the Khmer Rouge returns to her native Cambodia to find answers to the questions that have haunted her all her life.

Music of the Ghosts is about healing and forgiveness, but it is also about identity and the revival of Cambodian culture. The novel follows Vaddey Ratner's highly acclaimed debut and similarly focuses on what she knows personally: Ratner herself survived the Khmer Rouge. Led by Pol Pot, the Khmer Rouge held power in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979. They forced a mass exodus from cities into rural areas, killing or causing the deaths of least 1.5 million Cambodians in the fields, thus dubbed "the killing fields." It was an atrocity from which the country is still recovering. As Ratner says in the author's note: "If my first novel, In the Shadow of the Banyan is a story of survival, Music of the Ghosts is a story of survivors."

The book opens to Suteera, a thirteen-year-old girl who is confused and scared as she and her aunt navigate the corpses and landmines that riddle the ...

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Beyond the Book:
  Traditional Cambodian Music

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