Love and Loss in Cambodia: a memoir
As a teenager, Groves Harman carried a heavy burden of grief and responsibility. First, her closest person died. Next, her father was critically injured in a traumatic car accident. Maybe that explains why she's willing to leave the USA and go to parts unknown--Thailand and Vietnam at first, but ending up in Cambodia. In fact, she's following the college sweetheart she married in 1993, although he's got an agenda he's not sharing with her.
While Cambodian politics play out, the author's personal life deteriorates. Memories are drawn from the '90s when the young woman lived in Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh. That decade was considered dangerous, with Khmer Rouge active on Route 4. When she first arrived in 1994, three Westerners had recently been killed by KR bandits, and three more Westerners had been kidnapped and were being held on Phnom Vour.
She and her teacher friends at ACE can't predict what will happen next. In 1997, political opponents take the battle to the streets of Phnom Penh. Though many people fled the violence of the fighting, she and her husband stayed. This is her story, one of courage, fortitude, and resilience. "Love and Loss in Cambodia" is a story of adventures, travel, and the history of Cambodia, as well as the author's childhood growing up in rural Oregon in the Vietnam War era of the '60's and '70's. It's also about finding friends, not only the Cambodian people who become family, but others from all over the world. Ultimately, it's a story about facing the truth, about loss-and about resilience.