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April 14, 2013

TRANG SEN by Sarah-Ann Smith

 (Correction:  The book was actually received from Pesgah Press on behalf of the author, Sarah-Ann Smith)

by Sarah-Ann Smith


Set in the Vietnam War era, Sarah Ann Smith's novel "Trang Sen" touches numerous genres—historical novel, coming of age, love story, political analysis—but at heart it is simply a riveting story of fascinating people caught up in the turmoil of their time and place, and told in the spare style of a true master of the language. Trang Sen is "White Lotus," a young Vietnamese girl caught up in the chaos and heartbreak of civil war, international conflict, and the disintegration of her family. At last, in a new life far from her homeland, she finds deep within herself the brave woman she has always longed to be.

Sarah-Ann Smith’s passion for Asia led her to earn a degree in international relations and Asian studies and to a career in the U.S. diplomatic corps. Her tours of duty took her to Taiwan to study Mandarin Chinese and to the American Consulate in Hong Kong as well as within the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the U.S. State Department. Her interest in Southeast Asia was originally piqued by encounters with a number of Asian students and their critiques of U.S. policy at the height of the Vietnam war. Her professional and personal focus on Asian political and cultural life led her to write about it in fictional form in this, her first novel.

Smith’s life after the Foreign Service has focused on writing and teaching. In addition to Trang Sen, she has published numerous op-ed pieces and has taught China- and Southeast Asia-related courses at universities in Maryland and North and South Carolina. Upon retirement she moved to Asheville, N.C. for fourteen years, and now lives in Spartanburg, S.C
I wasn't sure what the book was all about when I started reading it.I haven't ever read a book quite like this before. The book was a pleasant surprise. The author Ms. Smith wrote a marvelous read.  It will make you feel a range of emotions.  You definitely will want to continue reading it.  It's a definite keeper.
The author wrote about a wonderful character, Trang Sen.  She listened to her heart, no matter where it too her.  She was a brave, and  full of courage..  She was a strong person.  The author wrote with great detail of the Vietnam War.  You feel like you are there.

Trang Sen's point of view starts the book, telling of her life with The book starts out in Trang Sen's point of view telling about her life with her family,  You see what Trang Sen's life was like through the War and how much it affected her and her family  She was but a young girl and to think of all the loss she endured.  but she went on and grew stronger for it.
The ending left you hanging, but maybe we'll find out what happened to Trang Sen in the next book if there is one. I would recommend this book to everyone  It's a shelf keeper.
I hope the story continues.  
I give this book 4 STARS.
I received this complimentary book TRANG SEN from the author Sarah-Ann Smith for this unbiased review.

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