Some of the Vietnamese characters of my new novel THE REACH OF THE BANYAN TREE

I’d like to highlight a few of the characters whom I have come to know very well inside the world of my new story.

Year 2000:

Thuy – She is a pretty, yet simple Vietnamese young woman twenty-two years old. She has a degree from the local agricultural and forestry university, but her real skills is English. Excellent English speaker including the ability to understand the idioms of the language. Actually, I have had Vietnamese students like this and I kind of modeled her after some of them. Truly impressive grasp of the language. She has a strong sense of duty and obligation to her family, especially her father. She has become, to her surprise, attracted to a young American man, Chip Carson, who has been doing humanitarian aid in northern Vietnam.

Thang – Thuy’s father. He is a drunk. The eldest child of a large family and extended clan dating back seven generations. Besides Thuy, he has a seven year old son named Quat who is everything in the world to him. Thang is rather indifferent to Thuy’s relationship with Chip, thinking it’s good for her to learn English from him for her future. What he doesn’t expect is Thuy falling in love with the American. That will complicate everything.

Mr. Hung – Chief of Police in Thai Nguyen. He is protected by his famous and well-connected father in Hanoi. He should have been executed for drug running, but was able to skirt the law through framing others. He is extremely ambitious, but most people want nothing to do with him. That is why he is stuck in a small provincial town.

Mr. Dung – he is the Chief Minister of the Interior. He has few scruples and is willing to do whatever to get the oil contracts his government wants.

Miss Thanh – the naive translator for Mr. Dung, who has to deal with the abrasive C.R. Carson, Chip’s father and CEO of Carson Oil.

Year: 1945

Long – a fourteen year old boy who befriends OSS paratrooper Charles Carson, Chip’s grandfather, and goes on an incredible adventure with him during the waning moments of World War II.

Mai – the beautiful young translator and officer who travels with Charles and Long on their unexpected adventure. Mai and Charles are thrust in a love relationship which neither of them could have expected.

I hope you will join in the story and meet these incredible characters.

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