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

Where the Wind Leads A Refugee Family s Miraculous Story of Loss Rescue and Redemption Vinh Chung was born in South Vietnam just eight months after it fell to the communists in His family was wealthy controlling a rice milling empire worth millions but within months of the commun

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  • Title: Where the Wind Leads: A Refugee Family's Miraculous Story of Loss, Rescue, and Redemption
  • Author: Vinh Chung Tim Downs
  • ISBN: 9780849947568
  • Page: 159
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 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 toVinh 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.

    One thought on “Where the Wind Leads: A Refugee Family's Miraculous Story of Loss, Rescue, and Redemption”

    1. 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 Harvard.d everything in between. However. I didn't think this was a greatly written [...]

    2. 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 tenacio [...]

    3. 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 more 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. 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 quotes:"We were a poor refugee family "fresh off [...]

    5. When I finished this, my impulse was to go to the nearest grocery store and try to help anyone who looked remotely lost.This 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 a [...]

    6. I hate to get political in a book review, but if there was ever a greater argument to think with more 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 [...]

    7. 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 t [...]

    8. This started out slow, but I enjoyed learning about the culture and history. This really makes you think about the state of refugees and made me want to help. I enjoyed this!

    9. Sometimes I need to read non-fiction because true stories can be so remarkable. This story is amazing—although it drags a bit at the end IMHO. Still, I learned a lot about Vietnam and how hard things were for refugees. Part of why I love reading is that it helps me feel compassion and what better way than living in a refugee’s shoes for a while? This will make a good book club discussion for sure.

    10. An excellent book for our time. Vihn's experiences as a Vietnamese refugee in the 1970s aligns with how the world is responding to Syrian refugees today. I wrote down several passages I will keep as reminders. The ending slowed down for me but overall I recommend it. Everyone should pause a read a story like this.

    11. My favorite kind of book. True, unbelievable, tear-jerking, with a happy ending and a sense of humor woven throughout. "I am a refugee, and I always will be. But in a way, all of us are refugees. We are all born in a time and place we didn't choose, born without language, property, or money, dependent entirely on the decisions of others for our very survival. We are all strangers in a strange land, left to fend for ourselves in a world we barely comprehend, and as we find our way in this world, [...]

    12. A moving and inspiring story of a family of refugees from Vietnam and their journey to successful lives in the United States. A story about resilience and faith.

    13. My dermatologist wrote this book so I had to read it. It's an astonishingly good story, and miracle is the only word that seems to fit the fact that his family is still alive. There's high adventure in the story and many amazing narrow escapes or graces -- events that lead to the family continuing a crushing journey out of South Vietnam to freedom in America. And it's a timely story, given what is happening with refugees today. This country would have lost much if this family hadn't lived, and i [...]

    14. The writing was a bit too "stream of consciousness" for me. But it was a fascinating story about a remarkable family in difficult circumstances. It's difficult not to judge people of different cultures by our own standards so I appreciate the opportunity this book gives us to peek inside the life of a culture different from my own and gain perspective. I enjoyed learning about this culture, what it was like for their family to survive the war there and what it was like to immigrate to America an [...]

    15. Wow! What a story!!! I can see why this book has a 5 star rating on with over 550 reviews! Where the Wind Leads is a true story of a Chinese family living in Vietnam who fled and became refugees in the aftermath of the Vietnam war. It is a first person's account (Vinh Chung) of what happened to his family throughout the few decades of the book. It is the story of the trials and tribulations of refugees from Vietnam to America, but it is more than that. It is the story of war, desperation, atroc [...]

    16. What a fascinating story - and an insight to the Vietnam refugee crisis (and the current world refugee crisis) that I needed to read and see what life is like from a refugee's point of view. The first half struggled with narration, but when the author switched to his own experiences, the book really started to flow. My favorite part was the author's conclusions at the end of the book. Very powerful. Please read!

    17. This was a gripping tale of amazing resilience. I learned a lot about the difference being a refugee as opposed to being an immigrant means. We will have an interesting discussion about this book. Also the miracle of their rescue from the sea was truly amazing.

    18. A great story of one refugee's experience. For me, it really put flesh on the controversy and gave a new perspective of the real struggles that refugees face. I listened to the audio version, which I do not recommend, since I thought it was not well-read. I might have given it 5 stars otherwise!

    19. Amazing story, but not written in a great style for me, personally. Worth a read if you are interested in a real story of refugees from Vietnam.

    20. Compelling.That is what I would say if I were asked to sum up Where the Wind Leads in one word.It is "a refugee family's miraculous story of loss, rescue, and redemption" written from the perspective of the son, Vihn Chung with Tim Downs.Chung begins by laying out his family's history in their homeland of Vietnam. The story is tumultuous as the family survives various coups and wars. Each time they are uprooted and upset, yet they press on.Eventually they decide that they cannot live this way an [...]

    21. Less than a month ago, I read an excellent memoir entitled Hillbilly Elegy that I endorsed. This is unusual in that I'm not fond of memoir, yet I now have a second one to recommend, Where the Wind Leads. Again, I would have never read this story on my own. I read Hillbilly Elegy because my sister loved it, and I read Where the Wind Leads for a book club. The latter is the story of an ethnic Chinese Vietnamese refugee and recounts his struggles and ultimate success. As a young teacher in the Bay [...]

    22. Vinh and his family of 10 escaped South Vietnam in 1979 by boat. They made it to Malaysia, where the government loaded them on another boat and put them back into the South Sea, where they were picked up by a World Vision boat. A family in Arkansas sponsored the Chungs and they came to America. This book really opened my eyes to the plight of refugees, especially after the boat that sank with over 700 refugees from Syria just last month. "I am a refugee, and I always will be. But in a way,all of [...]

    23. I'm surprised I didn't like this book more, since I had worked in a refugee camp with families like this one for a year with a relief agency. The book was much stronger at the beginning than the end. It began to focus too much on just the author's accomplishments, relationships, etc which is ironic since he often emphasized the preeminence of family in the Asian culture. One HUGE question was barely answered as an afterthought: what happened to the other two boats towed out I sea? How did they s [...]

    24. I was blown away by this man's story even if I wasn't blown away by the writing. There was nothing wrong with it, just bland and factual. I really appreciated the timeliness of his story. I was young(ish) during the Vietnam War and pretty disinterested - it was winding down when I was in high school and I didn't pay attention to the news. We now are hearing of so many refugees and it is good to be reminded of what an impossible situation these people find themselves in. Dr Chung's family is trul [...]

    25. 3.5 actually. Thought the true story was incredible, with a happy ending. Preferred the first half of the book to the last half, as I learned about the boat people, and all refuges who are forced to flee with nothing. Today, as always we should open our hearts to help them. The writing was pretty business like for all the strife they had--a recounting of facts, that were horrific. 6 days adrift with no food or water, hungry children losing hope and then the miracle of the World Vision ship. Lots [...]

    26. An inspiring story of a Vietnamese family who flee their country and commence a new life in the U.S. I appreciated Vinh's family memoir and am in awe of the hardships they faced as well as the miracles they experienced and the lessons they learned. Their story offers perspective into the life of a refugee and gave me a glimpse of what that feels like.So many small details are included that make the book slow and steady. At times I wished the descriptions were shorter but came to appreciate them [...]

    27. Recommended by a friend this show insight into the lives of boat people leaving Vietnam and becoming Americans (while retaining the strength of their culture).

    28. I feel horrible for giving this book such a low rating. I have the highest respect for immigrants. From my experience and observation they are some of the hardest working, most resilient, and generally amazing people. The writing was very plain, even immature, in a literary way. The author is highly trained in other fields, but not as a writer. There was a very strong religious component to to this book. That doesn't necessarily rule a book out for me, but with it being the main focus and the wr [...]

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