Book Club: The Rent Collector by Camron Wright + Banana Slice Bar Recipe

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If you haven’t had a chance to read The Rent Collector by Camron Wright yet, put it on your list!

The Rent Collector by Camron Wright I thought it would be fun this year if I shared a book every month that I’m reading with my local book club. If you happen to be local and want a good book club to join, let me know! I’m a bit late getting started, but you all don’t mind overlapping some books each month right? 

In January I hosted our club. We were discussing The Rent Collector by Camron Wright. This is a book I highly encourage everyone to read! It was my first taste of author Camron Wright, and I got hooked. Shortly after reading this one, I borrowed The Orphan Keeper because I needed more of this type of storytelling. 

Storytelling. The finest kind is what you will find when reading The Rent Collector. Camron Wright based The Rent Collector off a documentary his son filmed called River of Victory. The book takes the real struggles and story of the family in this documentary and fictionalizes them just enough to fill in gaps and do what a good story does – grab at our emotions and pull us in. 

 The Rent Collector by Camron Wright

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. 

The Rent Collector by Camron Wright and Banana Slice Bars. Since I was hosting Book Club, I had to have a snack to share. I recalled that I had a Cambodian Cookbook – not sure why I have one – and started browsing through that. This recipe for Banana Slice was the perfect sharable treat, and they served well with Coconut Ice Cream. 

Along with the bars and ice cream, I whipped up a mango pineapple drink – diced mango and pineapple blended well. Add a bit of Stevia and lots of water. 

We had a pretty nice evening discussing different aspects of the book. The characters, and what was real verse fiction. Since I had read the book on my phone – thank you Hoopla – I missed out on seeing photos of the family. Luckily one lady had brought her copy and I got to connect even more with this family through their photos. 

Banana Slice
Taste Cambodia while discussing The Rent Collector at your next book club.
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  1. 3 bananas, mushed
  2. 2 eggs
  3. 3/4 cup rice flour*
  4. 3/4 cup brown sugar
  5. 1 cup coconut milk
  6. pinch of salt
  7. 2 egg yolks
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F
  2. Mix the rice flour with the bananas.
  3. Mix in the brown sugar
  4. Add coconut milk and whole eggs. Stir until well combined.
  5. Pour into a 9x13 baking pan.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes.
  7. Whip the egg yolks. Brush on top of the bars.
  8. Bake for another 10 minutes.
  9. Let cool.
  1. *I used a gluten free flour from Pillsbury. It is partially made with rice flour.
Adapted from Nyum Bai!
Adapted from Nyum Bai!
Home Maid Simple
The above recipe came from the book Nyum Bai! If you would like to purchase a copy to enjoy more Cambodian foods, consider purchasing from the Green Gecko Project as they put all the proceeds back into helping kids get off the streets in Cambodia. 

Now this is a book club, so I feel the need to ask a question. If you have read the book, I’d love to know your thoughts 

Do you think Sopeap was looking for redemption? Or did it just fall in her lap?

Next book discussion will be When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

One thought on “Book Club: The Rent Collector by Camron Wright + Banana Slice Bar Recipe”

  1. I loved this book. I do not think that Sopeap was looking for redemption. I believe it did come her way and seeing that she was sick, she decided to find some way of redeeming herself by helping Sang Ly. I feel the book that was found by Sang Ly was a determining factor in teaching her to read.

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