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Where the Wind Leads: A Refugee Family's Miraculous Story of Loss, Rescue,…

por Vinh Chung

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1054205,934 (4.26)Nenhum(a)
Back Cover: "The account of Dr. Chung and his family will inspire you to believe in second chances and miracles and the God who gives them both." -Max Lucado, New York Times best-selling author My name is Vinh Chung. This is a story that spans two continents, ten decades, and eleven thousand miles. When I was three and a half years old, my family was forced to flee Vietnam in June 1979, a place we had never heard of somewhere in the heartland of America. Several weeks later my family lay half-dead from dehydration in a derelict fishing boat jammed with ninety-three refugees lost in the middle of the South China Sea. We arrived in the United States with nothing but the clothes on our backs and unable to speak a single word of English. Today my family holds twenty-one university degrees. How we got from there to here is quite a story. Where the Wind Leads is the remarkable account of Vinh Chung and his refugee family's daring escape from communist oppression for the chance of a better life in America. It's a story of personal sacrifice, redemption, endurance against almost insurmountable odds, and what it truly means to be American. All author royalties from the sale of this book will go to benefit World Vision. Flap Copy: Vinh Chung was born in South Vietnam, just eight months after it fell to the communists in 1975. His family was wealthy, controlling a rice-milling empire worth millions; but within months of the communist takeover, the Chungs lost everything and were reduced to abject poverty. Knowing that their children would have no future under the new government, the Chungs decided to flee the country. In 1979, they joined the legendary "boat people" and sailed into the South China Sea, despite knowing that an estimated two hundred thousand of their countrymen had already perished at the hands of brutal pirates and violent seas. Where the Wind Leads follows Vinh Chung and his family on their desperate journey from pre-war Vietnam, through pirate attacks on a lawless sea, to a miraculous rescue and a new home in the unlikely town of Fort Smith, Arkansas. There Vinh struggled against poverty, discrimination, and a bewildering language barrier-yet still managed to graduate from Harvard Medical School. Where the Wind Leads is Vinh's tribute to the courage and sacrifice of his parents, a testimony to his family's faith, and a reminder to people everywhere that the American dream, while still possible, carries with it a greater responsibility.… (mais)
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Lately, I’ve noticed something quite interesting in my reading of spiritual memoirs and it’s this. Quite a few modern memoirs published by Christian publishers deal with Christianity only as a side issue. In fact, while I’ve learned much modern history from Christian memoirs, I sometimes feel that the explorations of the memoirist’s spirituality were a bit lacking. I sometimes think this happens because of the ghostwriter or writer the story is written “with.”

“Where the Wind Leads” is such a memoir. Honestly, back in college and high school in the 70’s, I knew the ins and outs of World War II and quite a bit about World War I but I had no knowledge about how the Korean War or the Vietnam War started.

Anyone wishing to understand the regional politics of Asia, especially South East Asia, from the thirties through the seventies should definitely read this memoir. not only does it show the politics of those decades but it details much of the culture as well. This history is told through the family history of the Chungs -- their marriages, financial rise, fall, rise, fall, and rise, their survival through tribal, political, and ideological conflicts, and of course their lives as refugees and victims -- and profiteers-- during war.

The story goes through three generations, with the mothers being portrayed as strong survivors even while life or their position as women caused them to be victims of their husbands, their society, in-laws, and soldiers. There are also moments of Providence and incredible kindness as well, including one instance which becomes a seed that helped the family become Christians. There are small powerful moments when the mother and the father connect to God their Creator. But on the whole, this is not a spiritual memoir.

Perhaps I’m a bit jaded but I did find myself wondering how much of the parents’ and grandparent’s history was true. The first part of the memoir is basically heard second-hand so I found myself taking the story about the evil jealous first wife (and the noble second wife) and the conniving poor mistress with more than a grain of salt. One is also aware throughout that this is the history of the fall of rich people. . .so of course, paragraphs about their kindness toward their workers is also suspect. I know most Christians tend to take these stories at face value but I get very cynical. Whether those stories were embellished or sanitized to make the author’s female ancestors more noble than they are doesn’t matter, the first part of the memoir is in my opinion the best. Descriptions of the daily life in Vietnamese Villages and the depiction of survival in a war-torn country make the book a must for both fans of war memoir and Asian twentieth century history.

I’m never sure about how much writing is done in memoirs by those who write “with” the main characters in a memoir. I found the writing style of the book typical of Christian non-fiction. For better or worse, it felt too familiar even though it was well-written. I didn’t feel I was hearing an authentic voice but someone who used the typical stylings of American non-fiction to tell a very extraordinary story. I also got to learn a lot about World Vision International and their noble work with refugees.
Some books are Christian in passing; conversion, spirituality, and relationship with God being only a side-dish. Where the Wind Leads is like that. It is primarily a family history and personal memoir. And it is secondarily a tribute to the work of World Vision.
( )
  CaroleMcDonnell | Aug 6, 2020 |
I was deeply touched by Dr. Chung's family's story - This was the first book I've read about the Vietnamese people who escaped an insufferable environment and risked their lives for freedom, only to be turned away or harmed when seeking a safe haven.

It is particularly painful to read this now as the Trump government is separating families seeking asylum in the US - this is unjust, inhumane, horrifying. ( )
1 vote njinthesun | Jun 17, 2018 |
Vinh Chung shares his and his family's story of having a successful life in Vietnam, only to lose everything. As boat people, it is only by the grace of God that that the author and his parents and 7 siblings survived when rescued by a World Vision boat. What this family has overcome is overwhelming, and how they have succeeded is a testament to their parents and the sacrifices they made. We as native-born Americans can learn a lot from Chung and his experiences to appreciate more fully what we have been given and the freedoms that we enjoy. He is now a proud American doctor himself. It is also a testament to his family's Christian faith, a faith that still continues. ( )
  hobbitprincess | Mar 18, 2017 |
The inspiring true story of a family’s escape from Vietnam and resettlement in Fort Smith, Arkansas in the 1970s after being sponsored by a small Lutheran church.
  mcmlsbookbutler | Dec 2, 2016 |
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Back Cover: "The account of Dr. Chung and his family will inspire you to believe in second chances and miracles and the God who gives them both." -Max Lucado, New York Times best-selling author My name is Vinh Chung. This is a story that spans two continents, ten decades, and eleven thousand miles. When I was three and a half years old, my family was forced to flee Vietnam in June 1979, a place we had never heard of somewhere in the heartland of America. Several weeks later my family lay half-dead from dehydration in a derelict fishing boat jammed with ninety-three refugees lost in the middle of the South China Sea. We arrived in the United States with nothing but the clothes on our backs and unable to speak a single word of English. Today my family holds twenty-one university degrees. How we got from there to here is quite a story. Where the Wind Leads is the remarkable account of Vinh Chung and his refugee family's daring escape from communist oppression for the chance of a better life in America. It's a story of personal sacrifice, redemption, endurance against almost insurmountable odds, and what it truly means to be American. All author royalties from the sale of this book will go to benefit World Vision. Flap Copy: Vinh Chung was born in South Vietnam, just eight months after it fell to the communists in 1975. His family was wealthy, controlling a rice-milling empire worth millions; but within months of the communist takeover, the Chungs lost everything and were reduced to abject poverty. Knowing that their children would have no future under the new government, the Chungs decided to flee the country. In 1979, they joined the legendary "boat people" and sailed into the South China Sea, despite knowing that an estimated two hundred thousand of their countrymen had already perished at the hands of brutal pirates and violent seas. Where the Wind Leads follows Vinh Chung and his family on their desperate journey from pre-war Vietnam, through pirate attacks on a lawless sea, to a miraculous rescue and a new home in the unlikely town of Fort Smith, Arkansas. There Vinh struggled against poverty, discrimination, and a bewildering language barrier-yet still managed to graduate from Harvard Medical School. Where the Wind Leads is Vinh's tribute to the courage and sacrifice of his parents, a testimony to his family's faith, and a reminder to people everywhere that the American dream, while still possible, carries with it a greater responsibility.

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