Publisher's Note:  

This fictional story, based on actual accounts, follows a Cambodian family that lives at -- and makes their living from -- Stung Meanchey, the largest municipal waste dump in all of Cambodia. As her husband scavenges the dump for things to sell, Sang Ly tries to find a way to heal her ailing son. When she discovers that the bad-tempered rent collector can read, Sang Ly begs the woman to teach her. The unlikely relationship is the beginning of a life-changing quest. It is a story of hope, determination, and the strength of family. It is one woman's journey to save her son and another woman's chance at redemption. It demonstrates that even in a dump in Cambodia -- perhaps especially in a dump in Cambodia -- everyone deserves a second chance.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Shadow Mountain

The Rent Collector

by Camron Wright

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Overall Review:  

Take a huge landfill and populate it with lots of interesting characters who make a living picking through its heaps and the setting for The Rent Collector is laid.  Much like a garbage heap the story has multiple layers of meaning--leaving a great deal for readers to contemplate.  Perhaps most surprising was the path the story took.  Those expecting the story to be an incredible tale of how one individual was able to "rise above her station" will be disappointed.  However, readers will be moved by the transformation of demeanor and mindset by several of the major characters and left with a feeling of hope and determination.  One person really can make a difference.  Those choosing to read this novel should be prepared to have its words stick with them long after the final page.

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  3 mild obscenities; 1 anatomical term.


Violence/Gore:  Several scenes in which characters are killed by animals, vehicles, shootings and being beaten; one intense 2 page scene involves murder but with only a brief description of spattering blood; characters physically assault one another.


Sex/Nudity: Married characters embrace and kiss; married characters remove clothes and intercourse is implied.

Mature Subject Matter:  

Child prostitution, poverty, genocide, robbery, murder, war and death of family members and friends.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

One adult character is perpetually inebriated.

Reviewed By Susan
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