Wednesday, September 17, 2014

{Review} THE REACH OF THE BANYAN TREE by Mark W. Sasse

ISBN #: 978-1499713008
Page Count: 300
Copyright: June 16, 2014
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

(Taken from back cover)

Chip Carson intends to marry a young Vietnamese woman named Thuy until a tragic accident forever alters the outlook of their relationship. As he struggles to cope with their strained love, a mysterious stranger appears, bearing a journal about Chip’s grandfather who parachuted into French Indochina at the end of World War II. As the words of the journal reveal a life that Chip never knew, he begins to understand the depth of love and sacrifice needed in order to have a second chance with Thuy.

In a moving work of sweeping scope, The Reach Of The Banyan Tree explores themes of love versus loyalty, desire verses duty, destiny versus fate, and family versus the individual - illuminating the familial ties that either bind us together or tear us apart.

Charlene's Review:

Chip Carson, eager to escape his controlling father, moves to Vietnam . Once there, he meets Thuy, a Vietnamese girl, and they fall in love. Tragedy strikes, and Chip finds himself in jail, where a mysterious man brings him a journal that connects him to his past, and reveals a link to the beautiful land of Vietnam. As time passes, and Chip faces the law of an unforgiving and corrupt government, generations of men come together and test The Reach Of The Banyan Tree.

In the foreword, Mr. Sasse writes of the banyan tree: "A banyan tree sees all, knows all, and keeps many secrets. It knows a time of bondage and a time of freedom. Its reach never stops; it keeps growing and expanding regardless of circumstances, regardless of difficulties. Time and destiny are on its side. In the end, the grands banyan tree, with its thirty-foot expanse, will once again sense order restored to the universe." In the evolving story of Chip, his father, and grandfather in The Reach Of The Banyan Tree, the reader will see World War II Vietnam, and present-day Vietnam, and how each generation spreads its shadow onto the next.

Mr. Sasse's love of Vietnam and its splendor paints a realistic backdrop for the story. I could almost feel the dirt on my feet, and the humid air on my face. The conflict between the cultures, and the ensuing heartbreak were palpable, as we look behind the scenes and experience the characters emotions. There is not a detail left out to detract from this sensational story.

Weaving together a love story with intrigue, action, and historical fiction, this is a beautiful book by a gifted author that has something for everyone.. Most accurately, a familial tale, it teaches the reader of the roots that ground us, the shelter of our forefathers, and the expanse of our actions over further generations.

5 out of 5 stars!

*A physical copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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