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The Reach of the Banyan Tree [Kindle Edition]

Mark W Sasse
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Chip Carson intended to marry a young Vietnamese woman until a tragic accident lands him in prison, forever altering the outlook of their relationship. As he struggles to cope with his 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 in 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 at love.

Part historical fiction, part contemporary love story, The Reach of the Banyan Tree is an adventure spanning two eras. It explores the effects of war, love, culture, and family obligation in twentieth century Vietnam through the eyes of three generations of American men, who each lost their soul in the tangled reaches of the banyan tree.



Editorial Reviews

Review

"Stunningly written and deeply moving ... I can't say enough about this book ... I absolutely recommend this to all readers ..." - The Kindle Book Review                                                                                   
"5 stars. I am fast becoming a huge fan of talented author Mark W Sasse." - inspirational author Dolores Ayotte

Product Details

  • File Size: 1828 KB
  • Print Length: 301 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Mark W Sasse (June 29, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00LE5MNP0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,307 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating Historical Romance... July 10, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
The Reach of the Banyan Tree by Author Mark W. Sasse

I am fast becoming a huge fan of talented Author Mark W. Sasse. "The Reach of the Banyan Tree" is the third fictional novel that I've read by him and I have thoroughly enjoyed all three. I can certainly see his love and fascination for Vietnam because as in Beauty Rising the setting for this novel takes place there as well. As usual the description of the landscape and surroundings are phenomenal and easy to picture in one's own mind.

The protagonist is Charles Regal Carson III, better known as Chip to his friends. His father is the owner of the Carson Oil Company in Texas which Chip wants no part of, therefore, he decides to work in Thai Nguyen, northern Vietnam for a more noble cause. While there, he meets the love of his life, Thuy. After two years of getting to know each other and eventually falling in love, Chip asks Thuy to marry him. She is more than willing but not without the approval/consent of her father whom she knows will not look favorably upon this union. He fought against the Americans during the Vietnam War and feels this marriage would bring nothing but grief to his little family. Thuy is very loyal to her family with only one younger brother by the name of Quat who is very taken with Chip. He sees him as his big American brother and has every desire to be just like him. His love and admiration for Chip is returned by Chip as he takes Quat under his wing and treats him much the same. After a celebration for Thuy's twenty second birthday when much revelry and rice wine are enjoyed, most of the celebrants jump on their motorcycles and head home regardless of their drunken state.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Unforgettable Love Story December 3, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
*A copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review, which follows.

I was instantly transported back into time to August 1945, French Indochina, where Charles Regal Carson, an American soldier with the OSS Deer Team, was tasked to assist Ho Chi Minh and General Vo Nguyen to fight against the Imperialist Japanese in World War II. What ensues is a hauntingly lovely contemporary romance filled with suspense and intrigue that brought me to tears, as I lived through the lives of Charles (Cha Le), Mai, Long, Thuy, and Charles III.

From there, Charles’ (Cha Le’s) story unfolds through the chaotic life of his grandson, Charles Regal Carson III, (Chip) who in the year 2000 left the family oil business to pursue his own ventures in Vietnam. Surrounded by the natural beauty of Vietnam, Chip falls in love with a young woman named Thuy. Their love leads them on a journey of discovery though cultural differences, language barriers, and age old traditions that lead them to face some ultimate truths in their own lives.

This romance spans fifty years through three generations of American men whose lives are interwoven through the women they love, their courage to face reality, and the lifetime friendships they forged. I loved the richness of the characters and the rites of passage into adult-hood that each endured.

The banyan tree plays an integral part in this story. To me the banyan tree represented the hearts of the people of Vietnam. The tree celebrates life by leading you through the lives of Chip, his father, and his grandfather representing the reach of family ties through the generations. I also gained a new insight into the ancient culture of Vietnam where family loyalty at all costs is still represented in modern society.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reaching For Love August 16, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Mark W. Sasse is one of my favorite Authors, and his new book `The Reach of the Banyan Tree' is a stunningly written and deeply moving story. It takes place in Vietnam, where he lived for ten years, and his writing reflects his passion and respect for the country and its people. He weaves his extensive knowledge of Vietnam and the splendor of the countryside into his writing, as he did in `Beauty Rising;' and with such vivid narratives, I could see the story unfolding in my mind. I love the compassion and complexity he puts into his writing. He has the ability to weave together a complex story filled with emotion and beauty, as well as hardship and turmoil.

Chip has moved to Thai Nguyen, Vietnam to get away from everyone, especially his father. In Vietnam he meets Thuy, who he will eventually ask to marry him. She agrees but must have the approval of her father. Initially, old family traditions and past emotions get in the way until Chip reveals that his father is the owner of the Carson Oil Company in Texas, and knowing that Chip has money, her father agrees. When all seems to be going well, a tragic accident happens that will threaten their love and Thuy's loyalty to her family.

The characters in this book are so finely tuned and complex that they make the story come alive, making this book hard to put down. I was drawn into their lives by their interactions and compelling emotions. Their lives are intertwined in a way you won't see coming, and it will leave you wanting more.

I just can't say enough about this book, the writing is so amazing and it will draw you into the story in an emotional way.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
Mark Sasse never disappoints. He writes with heart and soul and sucks you right into his characters' world...wherever and whenever it is. Read more
Published 19 days ago by Beeshon
5.0 out of 5 stars Must-Read Historical Fiction
Historical fiction is my favorite genre, and Mark Sasse has joined my list of must-read authors in the genre. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Eileen Granfors
4.0 out of 5 stars My review
Great vivid descriptions. Romance. Complex characters. At times this book was hard to follow and at other times I got so involved in the character's lives I couldn't put the book... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Kay Lalone
5.0 out of 5 stars Literary Romance, Historic Adventure!
Based on actual events in 1945, Mark Sasse has created one of the most lovely love stories I've ever read. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Blend of Narrative and Historical Account
The Reach of the Banyan Tree really is historical fiction at its best. The novel contains everything one could ask for: actual historical and cultural accounts blended with the... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Justine
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read about Vietnam History
Anyone looking for an exciting read that explores Vietnam history will find this a book that is hard to put down. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Richie Morrison
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Book by a Gifted Author
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. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Literary R&R
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart wrenching and moving
I just finished reading The Reach of the Banyan Tree and it was a deeply written novel. It was heart wrenching and moving. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Dealsharingaunt
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping in many ways...
The Reach of the Banyan Tree powerfully weaves romance and history into a perceptive portrayal of the soul of Vietnam over the past hundred years. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Dennis A. Tyas
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!
This is Mark Sasse's best book yet! Like Beauty Rising, this book also takes place in Vietnam and as someone who grew up there, the details are perfect. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Jacob Kimball
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More About the Author


Mark W Sasse's third novel, "The Reach of the Banyan Tree", is an epic look at the familial and cultural ties of modern day Vietnam through the eyes of three generations of American men who fought and loved there. Part contemporary love story, part historical fiction, "The Reach of the Banyan Tree spans two eras of time to give the reader a unique adventure of love and loss.

Mark W Sasse was born in Western Pennsylvania, but has spent nearly two decades living, teaching, and writing overseas in Vietnam and Malaysia. He has advanced degrees in Humanities and English. His first novel, "Beauty Rising", released in December 2012 which was followed by "The Recluse Storyteller" in October 2013.

Sasse has produced a variety of dramatic works such as "Grandparents' War", "Life with Stewart", "Spy Blue", "Take Two" & "Romans on the Couch." His works are known for unique and unpredictable plot-lines, strong characters, and thought-provoking dialogue. He also writes and directs for the drama troupe The RLT Players. He won the award for "Best Script" in 2013 Penang Short & Sweet Festival for his script "No In Spite of Itself." His short play "Drive All Nigiht" won the Audience Choice award at the 2012 Penang Short & Sweet Festival.

Sasse is an avid blogger, writing about life, drama, history, cultural, and writing. (www.mwsasse@wordpress.com)

Complete List of Works
2015 Novel: "A Love Story for a Nation" ETA: 2015
2014 Novel: "The Reach of the Banyan Tree" (Kindle/paperback)
2014 Musical: "Boardwalk Melody" (unpublished)
2013 Novel: "The Recluse Storyteller" - (Kindle/Paperback)
2013 Play: "Grandparents' War" - (Kindle/Paperback)
2012 Novel: "Beauty Rising" - (Kindle/Paperback)
2012 Play: "Life with Stewart" - (Paperback)
2011 Play: "Romans on the Couch" - (Paperback)
2011 Novella: "Spy Blue" - (Kindle/Paperback)
2011 Play: "Spy Blue: A Drama in Two Acts" - (Paperback)
2010 Musical Play: "Take Two" - (Paperback)
2008 Musical Play: "A Tad of Trouble - (unpublished)

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