Monday, February 20, 2012

The Disappeared by Kim Echlin

This story of passionate love between a Canadian and her Cambodian lover evokes their tumultuous relationship in a world of colliding values. Set against the backdrop of horrific loss, these two self-exiled lovers struggle to recreate themselves in a world that rejects their hopes.

Spare, unrelenting, and moving, The Disappeared is an unforgettable consideration of love, language, justice, and memory set against the backdrop of the killing fields of Pol Pot. ~~ synopsis from Goodreads

My thoughts on The Disappeared ~~

This book was selected as our February read for one of my book groups. We had a good discussion but I have to say that this book was, at times, quite depressing. The horrors that were inflicted on people in Cambodia at that time are just awful to read about. This book did open my eyes to what was going on then. It is also a love story about a Canadian woman and a Cambodian man and the lengths they were willing to go to in order to stay together.

The book is not very long, just 228 pages but I found myself putting it down and giving it a rest when became too sad to read further. The author writes in an unusual voice which was a bit challenging to read at first. The voice is that of the woman telling the story to her lover, as if he was not part of the story. A bit odd.

This part of the book really spoke to me ~~ 'Why do some people live a comfortable life and others live one that is horror-filled? What part of ourselves do we shave off so we can keep on eating while others starve? If women, children, and old people were being murdered a hundred miles from here, would we not run to help? Why do we stop this decision of the heart when the distance is three thousand miles instead of a hundred?''

Overall, The Disappeared was a good book that I am glad I read. I was also glad that we were able to discuss the book to better understand the events that happened in Cambodia.


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