Monday, August 21, 2017

Book Review-The Rent Collector

By Camron Wright
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
288 pages

Survival for Ki Lim and Sang Ly is a daily battle at Stung Meanchey, the largest municipal waste dump in all of Cambodia. They make their living scavenging recyclables from the trash. Life would be hard enough without the worry for their chronically ill child, Nisay, and the added expense of medicines that are not working. 
Just when things seem worst, Sang Ly learns a secret about the ill-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 womans journey to save her son and another womans chance at redemption. It demonstrates that even in a dump in Cambodia--perhaps especially in a dump in Cambodia--everyone deserves a second chance.

My Thoughts:
Oh my heart! "The Rent Collector" is a powerful. It will keep you thinking long after you put it down. This is a book that not only touches your heart, it opens your mind. Although "The Rent Collector" is a work of fiction, it's inspired by the lives of real people living in Stung Meanchey. The main character Sang Ly and her husband live at an actual dump site in Cambodia and survive day to day with what they are able to collect and turn in for food. Page by page you are submerged into Sang Ly's world and she immediately captures your heart with her determination, sense of humor, and wisdom. A turning point in her life happens when she realizes that the old drunk lady who comes to collect their rent each month knows how to read. With the determination that only a mother can have, she is convinced that if she learns to read she will be able to help her chronically ill child. The Rent Collector reluctantly agrees to help Sang Lee read. So begins an unusual relationship between Sang Ly, the student and Sopeap, the teacher.  Through the story we live through Sang Ly's tragedies, triumphs, hopes, dreams, and frustrations.  The story is beautifully written, there are stories within stories as Sopeap teaches Sang Ly to read and the meaning of literature. Lessons are learned as we find out that there's more than meets the eye as Sang Ly gets to know the drunk old woman known as The Rent Collector. I loved this book and plan to read another one written by the same author called The Orphan Keeper. If you're looking for a heartfelt story that will make you laugh and cry check this one out. 


  1. Interesting review, Tammy! This sounds like a beautiful story, but I would probably not be able to read it. Although obviously well-written, it does sound sad....Yes, you say in your review that it's a story of hope, but still... I'm glad you enjoyed it!! :) :)

    Thanks for the lovely review!! <3 :)

  2. This sounds like such an emotional and inspiring read. I hadn't heard of this one before, but it sounds like something I would like to read. I am adding it to my wish list.

  3. Oh this sounds like an emotive read, I hadn't heard of it before, will have a wee look out for it xxx


  4. Hi Tammy. Many thanks for stopping by Pen and Paper, its wonderful to have you on board.

    Sounds like a book that definitely requires a tissue or two. Powerful and heart wrenching by the sound of it.