March 7: The Rent Collector by Camron Wright


The Rent Collector

The Rent Collector takes place in Cambodia in the aftermath of the Pol Pot / Khmer Rouge Communist regime. Sang Ly and her husband, Ki Lim, are "pickers;" that is, they live in a shantytown in Stung Meanchey, the garbage dump outside Phnom Penh, and make their living picking through the trash for recyclables. 
Because of their poor living conditions, their infant son, Nisay, is chronically ill. Their existence is punctuated once per month by the appearance of the rent collector, an elderly, unpleasant and often drunk woman who squeezes every last dime from the residents of Stung Meanchey. Like all tenants, they pay in order to avoid being thrown into the street.
Just when it seems things can't get any worse, Sang Ly learns a secret about the bad-tempered rent collector who comes demanding money--a secret that sets in motion a tide that will change the life of everyone it sweeps past.

The Rent Collector is a story of hope, of one woman's journey to save her son and another woman's chance at redemption.

The story is fiction, but Stung Meanchey, Sang Ly and her family, and many of the other characters in the story are real. The Rent Collector was based on a documentary calledRiver of Victory. The author wove a fictional story about the actual people, imagining what might happen if a family under those circumstances were given the gift of literacy.
Please join us Thursday, March 7 from 5 to 6:30 at the LLL Center.  Nancy Brown will facilitate the discussion. It is free, but registration is required.

Upcoming books
  • April 4 - A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
  • May 2 - The Girls of the Atomic City by Denise Kiernan
  • June 6 - The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn