The Rent Collector
Summary (from Goodreads): 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 bad-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 woman's journey to save her son and another woman's chance at redemption.
Review: I don't know what I was expecting from this book about living in a garbage dump, but it was not this beautiful story about literature, friendship and redemption. I loved watching Sang Ly's eagerness to learn help her become more confident and self-aware. And the story of the rent collector was tragic and touching. The only complaint I have is that Sang Ly seemed to learn too quickly and have thoughts about literature that were too deep for an uneducated woman picking through garbage. At times, her voice sounded like an American college student, and that didn't seem to fit a character who had just learned to read a few weeks before.
Rating: 5 stars