The Disappeared

The Disappeared

Book - 2009
Average Rating:
17
1
Rate this:
A sixteen year old girl falls in love with a Cambodian student.

A revolutionary closes the borders of a country for four years.

Families, friends, lovers disappear.

Kim Echlin's powerful new novel tells the story of Anne Greves, from Montreal, who meets Serey, a Cambodian student forced into exile when he cannot return home during Pol Pot's time of terror. Anne and Serey meet in a jazz club where their shared passion for music turns into a passion for each other, against the will of her father.

But when the borders of Cambodia open, Serey is compelled to return home, alone, to try to find his family. Left behind, and without word from her lover, Anne tries to build a new life but she cannot forget her first love. She decides to travel to the war-ravaged country that claimed Serey. What she finds there is a traumatized and courageous people struggling to create new freedoms out of the tragedy that claimed their traditional ways, their livelihood, and a seventh of their population.

"Despair is an unwitnessed life," writes Anne as she searches for the truth, about her lover, and about herself. "If we live long enough, we have to tell, or turn to stone inside."

From its first page, The Disappeared takes us into the land of kings and temples, fought over for generations. It reveals the forces that act on love everywhere: family, politics, forgetting. Universal in its questions about how to claim the past, how to honor our dead, and how to go on after those we love disappear, it is a story written in spare and rhythmic prose. The Disappeared is a remarkable consideration of language, truth, justice, and memory that speaks to the conscience of the world, and to love, even when those we love most are gone.


 

Publisher: Toronto : Hamish Hamilton Canada, 2009
ISBN: 9780670069088
Branch Call Number: FIC Echl
Characteristics: 235 p.

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

h
hRuth
Mar 06, 2016

Wow, what a love story enveloped with the history of that brutal Cambodian time in the late 70's. I like the clipped way Kim Echlin wrote, never bogging us down from getting on with it. As a widow I can relate to how Anne clung, tasted and felt the passion of their early love that sustained her for a lifetime. The musical story and artists were also something my partner and I shared.

m
ms_mustard
Jul 30, 2015

having heard Echlin at a reading for her latest book, I decided to make the plunge into this book, which has been on my list for a couple of years but have been avoiding for fear of the subject.

I enjoyed 2 of her earlier books and found this one to be poetic and enticing despite the killing fields.

obsession - both governmental and personal - rules hearts and minds

v
vwruleschick
Sep 28, 2012

In the 1970s, Anne and Serey are in jazzy Montreal whereby she grows up by a single dad, but falls for Serey hard. Serey is an immigrant from Cambodia who plays music and is free, but wishes to see his family back in Cambodia. Follow their journey together and apart with love, loss and heartache in this poetic story.

u
uncommonreader
Jul 27, 2012

Rather thin.

margotc629 Jan 03, 2012

It was beautifully written and poetic. I acknowledge that it is a superior work of fiction but on a gut level I found Anne selfish and self absorbed. She never had a thought to how her desires endangered the people around her. She had no thought except for her obsession. I understand it while it was happening but years later there was no reflection. Her love for her father is shown after he is dead? Whats up with that. At the end of the book I wanted to strangle her.

b
blueskies100
Aug 03, 2011

The plot was good and the historical portrayal of Cambodia however I found the writing style just a little hard to follow. The constant use of "you" detracted from the story.

e
elinpat
Jun 27, 2011

Montreal girl falls in love with Cambodian student , He goes home t find his family after the 'killing fields' of Pol Pot. She goes to search for him
Recommend for Erika

debwalker Feb 02, 2011

Finalist for Barnes & Noble's 2010 Discover Great New Writers Awards.

p
PhyllisMargaret
Oct 23, 2010

Anne Greves, a sixteen year old meets & falls in love with Serey, a Cambodia student who is forced to stay in Montreal during Pol Pot's reign of terror & the Cambodian genocide of 1975 - 1979. Rhythmic prose of run on sentences adds to thedescription of the utter horror of the time.

p
perception1
Oct 21, 2010

Incredibly well written.

View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at NWPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top