Posts Tagged ‘Cambodia’

The Disappeared by Kim Echlin

June 6, 2011

This is a spellbinding love story that starts in Montreal, Canada, then moves to Cambodia, during the Khmer Rouge period of 1975-1979.

The story begins when Anne, just 16 years old, meets Serey, an exiled Cambodian musician. They have an instant and deep attraction to one another and become inseparable. After the Vietnamese invasion, Serey returns to Cambodia to find his family.

For 11 years, Anne hears nothing from Serey, then believing she has seen him on television during a political rally, decides to travel to Phnom Penh to find him. From here, the lovers tale is told against a backdrop of the horror, violence and tragedy of the holocaust taking place in Cambodia under the rule of Pol Pot. Echlin successfully conveys the fear, despair and oppression of the Cambodian people during this time through Anne’s eyes.

It is a beautifully written book, which could be read in one sitting. (Its less than 200 pages long). I particularly liked the short sentences and sparse style, and the mix of first and second person narration was really effective. I highly recommend it, just make sure you have a box of tissues close by.


P.S Its a great choice for a book group!