I was not always a reader. I didn’t start to enjoy reading until eleven years ago when my then boyfriend (now husband), who was trying to study for finals, shoved the first Harry Potter book into my hands in an attempt to get some peace and quiet.
I was sold the first time she said “booger”. I’ve been a reader ever since.
My tastes in literature have changed quite a bit since then, but my feelings towards reading haven’t. Literacy is one of the most powerful forces known to man. I can testify from my own experiences that the love of reading will absolutely change your life if you let it.
When I was asked to review a book about the power of literacy, I jumped at the chance.
Inspired by real people, The Rent Collector by Camron Wright is the story of Sang Ly, a poor Cambodian woman who lives with her husband and baby boy in a garbage dump in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Sang Ly along with her husband and the other residents of her “village” pick through the garbage to search for hidden treasures that can be sold for enough money to buy enough food for dinner that night, they all hate the local rent collector, and none of them can read.
After a particularly difficult day Sang Ly discovers that the rent collector, whom she loathes so much, can read. Sang Ly knows in her heart that this is the key to a better and healthier future for her chronically sick son.
A few years ago I gave you my definition of what it takes to be a “Classic”. By that definition, The Rent Collector is an instant classic in my mind. I couldn’t put it down and for hours after I was done I read all I could on Cambodia, Pol Pot and the Khmer regime. Like so many other war torn countries in the region, Cambodia is still living through the disastrous effects that invariably occur when a powerful few put the love of ideology and theory above reality and actual human beings.
I love a book that makes me think. I love a book that makes me grateful for my countless blessings. I love a book that increases my desire to learn. I love a book that gives me closure but also leaves me longing for more. The Rent Collector fulfills every expectation I have in a good book.
I have the privilege of giving away THREE copies of The Rent Collector. Just use the rafflecopter below to enter!
(No cheating by not leaving comments when you are supposed to, to make it fair to everyone your entries will be deleted if you don’t follow the rules)
Hint: Spreading the word is worth EXTRA entries! ;)