Winner of the 2010 Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award for Fiction A love story set against the background of the Cambodian killing fields, Echlins novel is a Romeo and Juliet for our time. Sixteen-year-old Anne, raised by her widowed father, attends a proper young ladies school in Montreal. But Anne has a secret she sneaks into blues clubs with her tutor, and one night, she meets Serey, a sexy Cambodian musician who plays the songs of his people as well as blues and rock.
Serey was in Canada when the Cambodian government fell, and his father begged him not to come home. The sheltered girl and the accidental refugee fall passionately in love; between them "everything was animal sensation and music." They play the role of a gorgeous, exotic couple until the borders reopen, and Sereys yearning for home and his family pulls him away. Eleven years later, Anne flies to Phnom Penh to search for Serey in the chaos left by war and famine, following in the footsteps of the biblical heroine Ruth, who declared, "Your people shall be my people and your God, my God." Her love is undaunted by the obstacles she faces from a merciless government to a people so desperate and downtrodden theyll do anything to survive.
Powerfully and movingly written, The Disappeared is a tribute to a love of the purest and most sensual kind. "A slender book of remembering, The Disappeared is unforgettable." Sheri Holman, author of The Dress Lodger Discover Awards Commentary A Romeo and Juliet for our time, Echlins sensual novel tells the story of a cross-cultural love affair. From the Judges The Disappeared is a contemplation of horror, and a ferocious look at love.
While all the nameless missing of the Cambodian genocide gather around the characters like ghosts, the story also thrums with life, love, sensuality, tenderness and brutal pain. Echlin dares a hard look at the best and worst of humanity and pulls off this ambitious feat with elegance and heart. Zo Ferraris This book, which deals forthrightly with mans inhumanity to man, transcends its difficult subject matter by virtue of Echlins brilliant and beautiful prose, which tenderizes everything that it touches.
The Disappeared is a unique, powerful, quietly devastating book, and a true and important love story. Peter Cameron This is a powerful and affecting novel, one thats willing to consider the greatest devotion and the most terrible cruelty. At the center of The Disappeared is a truly penetrating and unforgettable understanding of the circumstances of genocide.