Book: In the Shadow of the Banyan
Victor Frankl, as a concentration camp prisoner himself, came to understand why some people survived, others didn't, no matter their conditions. It was their will to live, their sense of purpose and self.
Vaddey Ratner, in her book "In the Shadow of the Banyan," she tells the story of the horrific Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia, 1975-79. While fictional, it is in fact, Ratner's own story. Through the voice of a seven year old girl we learn of the death and destruction of people, culture, and the land itself. Her will to live, her strength in the face of starvation, deprivation extreme and loss of family bears witness to Frankl's belief.
Ratner also tells us how the regime came to power and what their objectives were through the progess of her story, which is instructive as it is the way of conflict and power worldwide. It is difficult to read of such horror, yet this book is a story of hope and it is also a piece of fine literature worthy of the praise it has received. "In the Shadow of the Banyan" is powerful, well written, and a lesson to us all.