Title: Beauty Rising
Author: Mark W. Sasse
Format: Paperback and eBook
Genre: Literary Fiction
Purchase Now: Amazon § Barnes & Noble
About the Book:
“My heart sank. I dumped my father’s ashes in the heart of communist Vietnam – over a thousand miles from the death of his comrades – over a thousand miles from the smile of that girl. How could I have been so stupid?”
Only the bumbling, overweight, thirtyish, stay-at-home Martin Kinney could have mistakenly flubbed his dying father’s request with such gusto. This thousand mile mistake awakens the ghosts of long-held family secrets and puts Martin on a fateful course with an unlikely romantic interest – a young, beautiful, yet troubled Vietnamese woman named My Phuong.
With its cross-cultural setting and unlikely romance, the 61,000 word novel Beauty Rising creates a powerful, unique voice in today’s literature. In a swift-moving, dialogue-driven prose which is funny, honest, tragic and unpredictable, Beauty Rising explores the depths of culture, family, and love as the Vietnam War, a generation removed, continues to hang on the periphery of society, cursing families and causing destruction.
Strong and solid prose highlight the character driven story and bring the beauty that is Vietnam and her people to light. Tragedies make strange bedfellows, as the two main characters in this story, Martin and My Phuong can attest, after several twists and turns bring them together in intersecting journeys.
Compelling and captivating, there were moments where the characters could have been developed more fully, or the pacing could have had better balance, but the ultimate struggles and juxtaposition between inherently ‘western’ and ‘eastern’ values, behaviors and traditions provide a solid feel of the struggle and joys in a cross-cultural experience. The story does manage to engage readers and keep them reading until the last page. Sasse is talented, with an ability to provide readers with an enjoyable, captivating story in Beauty Rising, and leaves me curious about his future work and growth.
I received an eBook copy from the author for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Giveaway: In addition – you can enter to win your own Kindle copy of Beauty Rising, as the author has very graciously offered to gift 2 (two) copies to readers who enter this Rafflecopter.
About the Author:
Mark W. Sasse teaches drama, history, and English when he isn’t writing. He lived in Vietnam for nearly ten years which provided the rich background of modern day Vietnam in his first novel “Beauty Rising” released in December 2012.
He is passionate about live theater and has published a series of plays of different genres including “Spy Blue”, “Take Two: Who Directs Your Life”, “Life with Stewart” and “Fifteen 10-Minute Plays for the Stage.” He also produced and directed all of these as original stage productions. His latest dramatic production, “Drive All Night” premiered in November 2012 at the Penang Performing Arts Centre. He’ll be publishing “Fifteen 10-Minute Plays for the Stage” very shortly. His second novel, “The Recluse Storyteller” is finished and will see the light of day in 2013.