Sothea wants to be a famous writer, the most famous in all of Cambodia, to write about her life, and all the bad things that happen to children in her country. And the good things, as well. Her best friend suggests that there needs to be romance too, as all the best stories have a romance.
Sokhem wants to be a web designer, and to create his own site, uncovering the things that nobody likes to talk about in Cambodia; the stuff that gets swept under the rug. His little brother, Vithu, wants to change the world, after he has finished school, gone to university, traveled, and read everything there is to read and learned everything that can be learned.
Kosal worries for his country, and feels that the Cambodian people are lost. His master has sent him from the pagoda on a seven year pilgrimage to find understanding, and perhaps even enlightenment.
The Scent of Rumduol is a modern day tale of stolen childhoods; of children forced to survive the exigencies of a world epitomized by poverty, violence, drugs, child exploitation, and sexual abuse. It is the story of four orphans whose lives touch, and are touched, by others - including a teenage prostitute, a former Khmer Rouge guard, and a disillusioned aid worker - in ways nobody could ever have imagined.
It is a story of hope, resolve, love, karma, and, ultimately, of triumph over adversity.