This is a personal and moving story of the lives of two extraordinary people affected by tumultuous events of the 20th century as told through the eyes of their youngest son. Love, devotion, honor, duty, and compassion are constants which enrich all the people whose lives are touched by this couple. This is also a story about the silently courageous experience of Chinese immigrants in 20th century America yet the story is also reflective of the initial and subsequent experiences of the many different immigrant groups that make up this country. Physical and economic survival were initial challenges faced by Wing Mark and his wife Suit Ying but their ability to maintain integrity, values, and affection distinguishes the quality of their endurance through rolling successes and treacherous failures. The youngest child of their three children narrates this story with interwoven plots of war, love, cultural identity, familial intrigue, wealth, poverty, and adventure. The tale highlights the lives of two unusual individuals from opposite ends of pre-communist Chinese society, their survival through World War II, and their amazingly unpredictable journey through life as American citizens. The superficial elements of the narrative focus on the infrequently emphasized story of the Chinese American experience but the underlying life messages and insights are applicable and inspirational for all people. This is a story about idealism, optimism, and a legacy of love across generations. Passing Heights is the author's first novel after a long career in academic medicine. The story is drawn from the many extraordinary events surrounding the life and circumstances of his extraordinary parents. The backbone of the narrative, however, is formed from the special relationship between the author and his parents that was developed from the thousands of conversations that occurred over a lifetime. Those affectionate conversations inspired the author's career and provided the motivation for this novel, which was written to share those rich feelings with the reader. Midwest Book Review, March 2007 "Passing Heights is an engaging novel based upon the inspirational true story of author Leighton Mark´s parents. Encompassing the common experience and obstacles often encountered by Chinese American immigrants, Passing Heights chronicles the abiding, steadfast values of character, honor, duty, personal enrichment, and love. The struggle between cultural identity and pressures to conform, as well as coping with poverty and loss while striving to stay true to oneself and raise a family enrich this involving and highly recommended cover-to-cover read."
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