“Prot Sne Nov Poi Pet” (A Love Separated at Poi Pet) was written by Professor Yim Samnang. Published in 2003, the book mainly depicts the social conditions of people at that time.
Though modernisation is occurring all over the globe, the book discusses older social problems such as conflicts arising out of arranged marriages, discrimination against poor people and the rash choices made by young people.
Though some people have great compassion for the poor, fairness and justice continues to elude many. In this story, Romdoul is a beautiful woman struggling after the death of her mum. She is taken to work as a maid in the family of Sakona after she saves the life of his mother. Later she is loved by all members of the family, especially Sakona. Though the man is a doctor, the story does not dwell on his profession or appear to privilege it. He is so attracted to Ms Romdoul that he rapes her.
The book introduces various conflicts. The mother of Mr Sakona wants to arrange his marriage to the daughter of a medicine factory owner. Though he does not love her, he is forced into it by his mum. Ms Romdoul is forced to leave the home after the mother of Mr Sakona learns about her son’s attraction to her.
The book also discusses rich families. Though they are rich, they are not happy all the time, as the men always have other girls and wives outside the home. This led Ms Kasika (the girl who was arranged to marry with Mr Sakona) to commit suicide because her father always flirts with women.
The book highlights the conditions of poor people, describing characters who work as construction workers or sex workers to earn money to survive.
With many decisions being made by parents and youths, the story shows how Mr Sakona’s sister is killed by her boyfriend after she consents to her mother’s request that she marry a foreign guy she has never met. Both of the children in that family obeyed their mother because she has heart disease. If they don’t, it could affect her health.
Social conditions lead to Ms Romdoul becoming a sex worker. But she later stops working in this field after Mr Sakona gets married. She decides to live in a peaceful way by choosing to be a nun.
The story aims to teach parents not to be too strict and allow youths to make decisions for themselves. Also, it teaches youths not to follow feelings of “love” too rashly without thinking critically or deeply about it.