Beauty Beneath the Banyan
a novel by Crystal Fletcher

Print: 978-1-92670-883-6
ePub: 978-1-92670-884-3
PDF: 978-1-77133-101-2

336 Pages
November 01, 2012
Fiction All Titles Novel


Beauty Beneath the Banyan a novel by Crystal Fletcher

Three women, three countries, three stories—a Thai prisoner, a Cambodian entrepreneur and a Laotian Hmong refugee's destinies are threaded together by the tears leftover from the Vietnam War. Beauty Beneath the Banyon introduces readers to the secret war waged in Laos and its devastating aftermath. It provides a rare literary space in which the reader will also encounter the atrocities of Pol Pot'sCambodia and the effects of these wars, as well as the Vietnam war on Thailand, where many displaced people from Laos and Cambodia sought refuge, and where American soldiers sought refuge of another kind, leading to the development of Thailand's industry of sexual tourism.

The Buddhist concept of reincarnation is used to unite six main characters, three of whom are dead. The dead consist of a Cambodian monk, an American soldier who fought in Vietnam and died in Thailand and an American pilot who flew bombing missions in Laos and died there. These three become dead companions who are watching over three women who are still living: a Laotian grandmother, a Cambodian woman who wants desperately to have a child and a Thai woman who murders her husband and goes to prison.

The novel presents a timely look at our current global landscape, i.e., war and the effects of war on countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya to name a few, as well as the repetitive destructive foreign policy decisions that are still being made with repercussions of war and the lasting imprint this devastation leaves generations later.

Beauty Beneath the Banyan

Crystal Fletcher is passionate about three things: books, Asia, and human rights. Writing has allowed her to combine all these loves with the hope of making the world a better place. She has resided in Indonesia and China and embarked on backpacking adventures through Asia, Europe, Egypt, the South Pacific, Central and South America. Currently, she lives in Barrie, Ontario. Her work has been published in journals and newspapers across the country. This is her first published novel.

"Beauty Beneath the Banyan is a very important book. The stories are factual and taken from the truth. It is well written and raises awareness about the unknown genocide against the Hmong people in the jungles of Laos."

- Rebecca Sommer, Sommer Films
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