She hungers for adventure. And steps into a world steeped in an ancient culture and a deadly history.
Breaking out of her safe cocoon, Luna steps into a world of ancient culture and a deadly history. Can she survive unscathed?
Lucien, a worldly young architect, finds a journal at a café. His decision to read it, despite pangs of guilt, changes his life. An award-winning epistolary tale of courage, resilience and the bonds among diverse people.
Gold Medal, Contemporary Fiction, 2021 Global Book Awards (formerly New York City Book Awards)
Finalist, 2021 SPR (Self Publishing Review) Book Awards
Finalist, 2022 Wishing Shelf Book Awards
Finalist, Multicultural Fiction, 2021 International Book Awards
In The Shade Under the Mango Tree, Luna wants adventure after two heartbreaking losses. Something and somewhere very different from the affluent, sheltered home in California and Hawaii where she grew up. An adventure in which she can also make some difference. She ends up in a country steeped in ancient culture and a deadly history.
Raised by her grandmother in a Honolulu suburb, she moves to her parents’ home in California at thirteen and meets her brothers for the first time. Grandma persuades her to write a journal whenever she’s lonely or overwhelmed as a substitute for someone to whom she could reveal her intimate thoughts.
Lucien, a worldly, well-traveled young architect, finds a stranger’s journal at a café. He has qualms and pangs of guilt about reading it. But they don’t stop him. His decision to go on reading changes his life.
Meeting at a bookstore months later, she’s fascinated by his stories and adventurous spirit. She volunteers for the Peace Corps and goes to Cambodia where she lives with a family whose parents are survivors of the Khmer Rouge genocide forty years earlier. What she goes through in a rural rice-growing village defies anything she could have imagined. Will she leave this world unscathed?
Inspired by the healing effects of writing, this is an epistolary tale of courage, resilience of the human spirit, and the bonds that bring diverse people together.