Beauty Rising

Beauty Rising

by Mark W Sasse


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"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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781481211284
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 01/12/2013
Pages: 248
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.56(d)

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 dramatic production, "Drive All Night" premiered in November 2012 at the Penang Performing Arts Centre.

He currently resides in Malaysia.

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Beauty Rising 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
macjam47 More than 1 year ago
BEAUTY RISING is both a romance and a historical novel. Martin, the 30-year-old son of highly dysfunctional parents, is determined to fulfill his father’s death wish – to scatter his ashes near a large protruding rock under two banana trees, by a lake in Vietnam. Martin scatters his dad’s ashes according to his wishes, but soon discovers he took them to the wrong lake, wrong banana trees. Only the beginning of his bad luck, Martin’s wallet is stolen, and without any money or credit cards, he comes under the wing of a Vietnamese taxi driver and an American English teacher for the remainder of his stay. After returning home, Martin is unable to forget the beautiful, young woman who he believes stole his wallet. My Phuong’s life couldn’t get any worse. The daughter of a pastor, My Phuong escaped as the corrupt ruling party arrested her parents and brothers for illegally praying in the open. After hearing that her parents were dead, she left her home and traveled north. Reduced to life as a pickpocket, hairdresser, and prostitute, My Phuong flees Vietnam to save her life. Sasse portrays the two main characters and their emotional struggles with sensitivity. This colorfully written saga of two unfortunate people across the miles from the United States to Vietnam and back, clearly shows the author researched his book in depth. An emotionally charged story of love, redemption, and heartbreak, BEAUTY RISING is a book you do not want to miss.
BigAl70 More than 1 year ago
Beauty Rising might best be described as a “late coming of age” story. The protagonist, Martin, hasn’t managed to break away from his overbearing parents. But his father’s dying request sets him on a journey where he comes to understand both his parents better, and in the process becomes his own man.  A large part in the middle of the book takes place in Vietnam, with the different setting and culture adding spice to the story. I found this part interesting and assume, since the author’s bio indicates he’s lived in this part of the world, should be an accurate portrayal. **Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy. ** 
gaele More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you are looking to read a really well written, compelling story you should read this. From the first chapter, you are compelled to keep reading. You are drawn into the story and don't want to put it down. The story is so cohesively written and just flows. You find yourself just keep flipping the pages because you want to know what happens. It has all the goodies of love, loss, redemption. Martin, the main character who grew up with an alcoholic father and a verbally abusive mother is asked by his dying father on his death bed to fulfill his last wishes He doesn't know how to feel about this but he does it and it unravels many secrets along the way and speaks many truths that were never said. On his journey he finds love and loss. I don't want to give away too much because there are so many elements to this plot that make it such a great book.