The story is about a young half Thai girl named Lara. The story takes place in Thailand, where the economy has crashed. Because of this Lara’s father has been left unemployed. His unemployment leads to the family moving back into their old townhouse. Her parents miss the time, when they had more money, and the change makes for a gap between them.
It is then, that the parents decide, that Lara’s father should go back to the US, so that he can send back money.
Lara visits her father in the US. Here she discovers that her father’s stay is permanent, when her mother calls later that evening, Lara tells her that her father doesn’t want to speak with her. The story ends with her mother crying out please.
Point of View (POV)
Main theme – Family relationship
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Most of the story’s action is in the townhouse that they live in. It is described both before and after the father goes to US.
Before he moves Lara is a little more optimistic about the house, she says that her mother had dragged the washer out in the garden, so that the house felt bigger.
The dad also tries to make the house feel more like home, by remaking the walls. It seems like the family tries to make the best of the situation that they are in. The situation changes in the month up to his leaving Lara isolates herself, from her parents. “The family room stood empty”2.
This you can interpret as a clear sign that the family is falling apart.
The most striking thing is that the father leaves without finishing the walls, it seems like a symbol of him leaving the family relationship behind unfinished. Him leaving without trying to improve his and his wife’s relationship, leaving the foundation of their relationship incomplete.
The house feels empty in a way now that the father is leaving, just like the hollow buildings she sat in, when she skipped classes.
Here she read about how fathers all over the city had either committed suicide, gone to jail, or had run off to their other lives; their backup families or their plan B. And what they leaved behind was home-shaped shells, just what Lara feels about their home when he leaves, empty and hollow.