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Sunday 8 February 2015

The Reach of the Banyan Tree by Mark W. Sasse

Mark Sasse never disappoints. He writes with heart and soul and sucks you right into his characters' world…wherever and whenever it is. 

This story starts out to all intents and purposes as what you think is going to be a simple love story between Chip, the son of a wealthy corporate type, who has turned his back  on involvement in his father’s business, and Thuy, a beautiful young Vietnamese woman. But ‘simple’ is the last word that can be used to describe the journey of love when Chip is involved in a dreadful accident, which lands him in prison. What follows is heartache, the devastating impact of cultural differences and of past wars, and a struggle to overcome the constraints of obligations that tie a family together.

This is a powerful story that examines a romance stretched to the absolute maximum by tragedy, culture and history; it’s ably and movingly penned by Sasse and is set in a historically troubled country. It yo-yos between 1945 and the present, but the transitions are seamless; the dramatic backdrop of an exotic and breathtakingly beautiful country reflects the deep and varied emotions experienced by all the characters.

It’s an excellent story, beautifully written, quite possibly his best book yet. Highly recommended.

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