As Roger Connors, a widower with no children, ponders whether to pursue aggressive treatment for his cancer, a cryptic note arrives from a long-lost Air Force buddy announcing the visit of an acquaintance from Vietnam. The startling news resurrects ghosts of fallen comrades and haunting memories of the great love he once knew.
In C.L. Hoang‘s novel “Once upon a Mulberry Field” shocking revelations from his visitor uncover a missing part of Roger’s life he never dreamed possible. Peeling back one layer at a time, he delves into a decades-old secret in search of answers and traces of a passion unfulfilled.
From the jungles of Vietnam through the minefields of the heart, “Once upon a Mulberry Field” follows one man’s journey of self-discovery, fraught with disillusionment and despair but ultimately redeemed by the power of love.
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The Indie Author Life
“Where did you get your title?”
It’s one of the most common questions an author hears, and C.L. Hoang says he hears it all the time. He wrote in a recent blog post that “It was derived from the two famous lines in the Vietnamese masterpiece popularly known as Truyện Kiều (The Story of Kiều) by the celebrated poet Nguyễn-Du (1766-1820)”:
In the Far East in the old days, mulberry plants constituted an important crop second only to rice. Their young leaves were harvested and fed to silkworms to produce the most alluring and coveted product that had ever emerged from the Orient. As such, there had been mentions of mulberry fields in oral and written records stretching back to the earliest times. One such legend, which inspired the renowned verse by Nguyễn-Du, claimed that the ancient world was subject to regular cycles of profound changes. Every few thousand years or so, it said, mulberry fields would turn into blue seas, and blue seas into mulberry fields. The world as known would vanish–completely erased and rearranged.
For so many people and in so many ways, the Vietnam War had been a life changer. In trying to recapture memories of those days gone by, I couldn’t put out of my mind the beautiful simple rhymes of Nguyễn-Du–and the fact that the world of my youth had actually existed once upon a time, not so terribly long ago.