Our online book club met on Monday night and reviewed The Rent Collector by Camron Wright.
What an excellent book—one of my top 10 in the past few years. When you hear what the book is about, you may have second thoughts about reading it. The story follows a young family living in one of the largest municipal dumps in Cambodia. The story had its roots in a true story.
You came to really care about the family- Sang Ly (the mother) and her husband (Ki Lim). The rent collector, Sopeap starts out as a less than sympathetic character but you grow to deeply care for her as well. It was heartwarming to see what a difference literature (and learning to read) made on many different people throughout the book. While all members of our book club really liked the book, I think I found it more memorable because I had actually visited Cambodia and traveled down the Mekong River. The abject poverty and basic living conditions
was difficult to see at times, especially when compared to the elaborate temples
and palaces we saw.
There is a great disparity within their culture.
Surprisingly enough, we found people at all levels to be happy and content with their lives. This came through in the book as well. I would definitely recommend this one. Overall, it got the highest reviews from us than any previous book, an overall rating of 4.75.
While we were in Maine,
we also conducted the first book academy awards for our first 10 books (2 by each member) and the winners are:
Favorite leading character
– Ruth Bader Ginsburg from RGB
Favorite Supporting character – Henry Strauss from The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
Easiest book to read – Allie and Bea
Hardest book to read – Persuasion
Book that made the biggest impact on you this year: Sourdough
Book that you have recommended the most: Educated
Book that you would least likely recommend: The Understudy
Favorite book was a tie: Sourdough and Educated
We had some suggestions for new categories for next year, so stay tuned!