The Rent Collector
By Camron Wright
Shadow Mountain, 2012. 271 pgs. Fiction
Sang Ly lives with her husband and young son inside Cambodia's largest municipal garbage dump. They survive by picking through the garbage to find things that can be recycled. It is a treacherous way to live and it makes it even harder that their young son is sick. The embittered old drunk that comes around to collect their rent every month just might be Sang Ly's answer to creating a brighter future for her sick son.
This book was not at all what I expected. I have heard about it for years and finally decided to read it and I am so glad I did. This was a touching story of trials, loss, hope, and literature. Often we judge people before getting to know them well enough to understand their actions. When Sang Ly reaches out to the rent collector, she begins a journey that will forever change her family's life. She discovers the power of words and education and the strength of hope. I highly recommend this book.