…by Kim Echlin.This novel, set in the backdrop of Canada and Cambodia, is a love story about a girl who falls deep in love with a Cambodian musician, whom she first meets in Canada. As a teenager, Anne falls in love with Serey, a Cambodian musician. When the Cambodian borders open for a while, Serey moves back with hopes of finding his family, leaving Anne longing for everything about him. Anne waits for years to hear back from him, but is left disappointed.
Years later, while watching a newscast about Cambodia, Anne is convinced that she saw Serey. Happy to have seen him alive, she’s determined to go to Cambodia and find her lost love. Despite her father’s efforts to stop her, she leaves Canada and arrives at Phnom Penh, where she desperately stars searching for Serey.
What all she goes through to find the love of her life. What happens once they meet – does the bond they once shared still exist? Do they get to live happily ever after, or does tragedy strike again? What’s the story of Serey – what turns his life took after he left Canada? Did he find his family? All this and more is revealed in this beautiful love story set in the backdrop of heartrending Cambodian genocide.
This novel, I found, was both easy and difficult to read. While it was written well enough to keep me engrossed, wanting to read more, the pain that is reflected in the book with respect to life in Cambodia during that period made me want to stop. So much melancholy oozes every now and then leaving the reader feeling heavy. There were parts in the story where I found myself almost teary eyed.
Also, as much as I appreciated the story as a whole, I couldn’t bring myself to comprehend Serey’s affection for Anne. While I could easily empathize with Anne’s feelings here and there, I couldn’t see how Serey reciprocated his commitment to her. Then again, after enduing all that Serey had to in life, I am not surprised the way his character turned out; so I guess I shouldn’t be complaining about it because I’ll never be able to understand the depth of his sorrow.
Overall, a tragic novel of love, hope, despair, war, cruelty, deceit, death, pain and everything that is life – I would definitely recommend it.
My rating: 4*.
*for the rating scale, click here.
Here’s the post on Front Cover Attraction for this book written by BlueMist.