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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 povertyKnowing 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

10 thoughts on “Where the Wind Leads

  1. says:

    The pirates were invading the refugees on their boat from Vietnam to eventually America who were trying to escape the communists we could feel how horrific and terrifying it had to be Everything these people owned was stolen The pirates captured them left to die Frightening as can be As we read this story A SURVIVAL STORY We 'do' understand just how miraculous and inspiring it is From hell to Harvardand everything in between However I didn't think this was a greatly written book Parts felt exaggerated Parts were just TOO MUCH INFORMATION little details that did not forward the overall story YET the story itself can't be denied Personally I'm not a fan when God is introduced as not turning his face from those who were suffering I have to filter my own thoughts when I readGod didn't create any throwaway children If the author had left out uotes about what Jesus once said and that God sent the boat type statements was a little less preachy in parts I would have rated this book a little higher Overall it's worth reading It's worth reading to learn about the rescue boat that carried The Chung family and their 11 children away from starvation dehydration and fear to American to realize just how much they each accomplished The story itself is remarkable Thank you to my long time friend Kuki for telling me about this book 35 37 rating

  2. says:

    Wow Like Unbroken this book is a testament to what one man one family really can survive I bought this book because we were about to meet the author I had heard a little of the story so I knew that part would be amazing but I didn't expect it to be so well written The author's voice really comes through finding the humor and great insights in the tragedies of being driven from their homes and prosperous business rejected from neighboring coasts and left for dead at sea From tenacious Grandmother Chung to Vinh's mother the second most beautiful woman in her village to 18 month old twins this resilient family experienced such unspeakable horrors and yet so many miraclesAfter the eventful first half I expected the second half of the book to be less interesting but I was fascinated by the family's challenges and perseverance after they reached America This was a faith building read that I couldn't put down

  3. says:

    As the book cover says this is a refugee family's miraculous story of loss rescue and redemption as they escape from South Vietnam with thousands of other boat people in 1979 and make their way to America The story of their escape with eight children and the hardships that they endure is almost unbelievable Even amazing is a series of miraculous events in their lives that point them to a God who loves them that they will come to know I couldn't put the book down

  4. says:

    Update I suggested this book to my local book club and we met tonight to discuss it So I re listened to this today for our discussion tonightand it was a great book to talk about There were many topics mentioned and many ideas shared It worked well for a group discussion This is an autobiography of a Vietnamese family They were refugees trying to escape Vietnam and trying to get to the United States The author had a powerful story to tell I'm giving this one 5 stars because it was so well written I was in such awe with the imagery in this Amazing There was tragedy but I loved how it was tempered with humor courage hope and humility It was well balanced Every time they thought they lost everything something else would be taken from them That happened over and over again They suffered much but still managed to triumph

  5. says:

    I hate to get political in a book review but if there was ever a greater argument to think with compassion about current topics such as immigration and human rights this book would be a really great piece to start with Anyone who ever thinks that people who come to this country from abroad or even closer to home have it easy or get handouts or take jobs away from true Americans need to read this this book is a testament to the hard selfless and often hazardous journey that people take to try and make it to a better life I was pleasantly surprised when this book not only focused on the author's physical journey from their home country which was harrowing enough but also then showed the story of what happens after you step onto foreign soil not only in the immediate days afterwards but the months and years spent trying to make a new life I learned SO much about this particular family's story and it made me realize how many privileges we take for granted everyday just because some of us happen to be lucky enough to be born and raised in a country with so many opportunities and to lead comfortable and frankly cushy lives Read this book and expand your idea of the world if not your own home country Consider the plight of people everywhere who attempt a journey like this one and don't make it and what they have to endure in their failure It's poignant and moving and inspiring I'm glad I read it and I hope people do the same

  6. says:

    This was a wonderfully thought provoking memoir about a Chinese family who had to flee Vietnam after the Viet Cong took over the government The book was so fascinating and really made me think about how much we have in this country It also opens your eyes to the plight of so many who suffer in other countries due to their corrupt leaders I loved the example of a family that taught their children how to work hard These are some of my favorite uotesWe were a poor refugee family fresh off the boat in America but we felt blessed to be here and believed we had a responsibility to give back and the we gave the we received That's a mistake often made in America we spend our lives seeking to be served instead of seeking to serve others and the we receive the less we seem to haveHow can I give my children all the things I never had without allowing them to become complacent? How do I teach them that America is a land of opportunity but was never meant to be a place of entitlement? How do I allow them comfort and ease but instill in them the value of hard work?

  7. says:

    This story was heart wrenching and inspirational I learned so much about the plight of refugees as I read and gained a whole new level of sympathy because of it This is another book that in my opinion every American should read

  8. says:

    Incredible story told so well I love the optimism and faith and the idea that every one of us is blessed and has a great opportunity to give to others Such a good read

  9. says:

    When I finished this my impulse was to go to the nearest grocery store and try to help anyone who looked remotely lostThis is a riches to rags to riches story of the values that we Americans say we hold most dear and yet seem to forget so often when we're dealing with people who are different from us It's written by a physician in my area which is how I heard about it in the first place but memories told to me by others including my father who served in the Navy in the Pacific not long after some of these events were taking place brought it closer to home to reality Human life and culture is so much complex than we can ever imagine and stories like this remind me to always look for the other side or sidesEvery time I'm tempted to look at someone who's less financially well off than I am or who's working a job I tend to view as menial or doesn't speak English well or comes from any other different group from me and start to think that they are less intelligent or capable uneducated or any other possible prejudice I might come up with regardless of whether it was unintentional I remember stories like this of a family who literally had EVERYTHING taken away from them including a vast business empire that they had worked extremely hard for and were left to rot in the middle of a body of water because no one wanted them I remember the ones who chose to take a chance and take them in help them figure out American supermarkets and education system or let them use their laptop in college because they could never hope to afford one I remember this and tell myself to uit being a fool and a moron It's unfortunate that stories like this are necessary but while the world remains the way it does these stories remain inspiring and a sober reminder of the humanity of us all

  10. says:

    I LOVED this book I think this is in the top five of all memoirs I have read This book tells the story of Vinh Chung and his family as they flee Vietnam and eventually make their way to America The story is told in a straightforward manner yet captures the depth of emotion woven throughout the history of his family Through all of the trauma terror and tension of the refugee experience HOPE is a consistent theme that carries the story not a false sappy hope but a true deep belief that they can and will survive whatever comes their way An inspiring story of amazing resilience and overcoming