A Luang Prabang Love Story
Author: Manisamouth Ratana Koumphon
Publisher: River Books
Paperback, 176 pages
In 1930s Luang Prabang, the beautiful and demure Kham-Phiou was much admired. On New Year’s day, the life of the aristocratic young woman changed when she caught the eye of a sophisticated older man – Prince Souvanna Phouma. Falling madly in love, the prince determined to marry Kham Phiou against all odds – his family wanted a marriage within the dynasty, while her widowed mother feared palace intrigues. After the wedding, life in the prince’s family home was very difficult, but just as Kham-Phiou began to adapt, the prince decided to move to Vientiane to further his career. The tale of their tragic love story spans over half a century and is set against the little-known backdrop of old-world Laos, where ancient customs and superstitions still held sway.
In this charming and moving personal account, incorporating the social history of Laos, Manisamouth, recounts her grandmother Kham-Phiou’s untold story accompanied by evocative black-and-white photographs, family trees, and a section on Lao history.