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.
When I started this book I really didn't know what to expect when I started reading this because I've never read a book like this before, but I was pleasantly surprised with the book. It was a wonderful read, that brought forth so many different emotions, I just don't know how to feel now that I've read it. It always held my interest never once getting boring.
I love Trang Sen, she is a wonderful character. She was so brave, and courageous she followed her heart where ever it took her, and she stayed strong through all of the trials she had to go through. The author's writing style was also another plus, she was so good at all of the details of the Vietnam War it was like I was living through it while reading this book!
Also all of the side characters were developed well, and held my interest. I very much loved Blake, and Susan. Also I loved Treng Sen's cousin and her brother Long.
The book starts out in Trang Sen's point of view telling about her life with her family, then you see a letter written by Blake to someone named Kenneth, at the start of the book you have no idea who these characters are so it got somewhat confusing for me until I was able to learn who those characters where. I didn't really like that at the time, but I think it made the book more interesting once I learned who those characters were.
I loved how you got to see the life of Trang Sen due to the War, you saw how much it affected her, and those around her. All of the loss she went through for a girl so young, yet she still survived it all, and went forth with her life even though there was instances she didn't have to continue on surviving, she still continued to do so.
I didn't like the ending. I felt like I was still wondering what happened to Trang Sen and her family. There are still a lot of unanswered questions that I really want answered. I do not know if there will be a second one, but I really want there to be one, because I want to know what's going to happen next to Trang Sen!
I highly recommend this book, I LOVED it a lot! It was a wonderful story, and I hope it continues.