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Child of War, Woman of Peace Paperback – December 1, 1993


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 374 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor; Reprint edition (December 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385471475
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385471473
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #287,339 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Alternately shocking and inspiring, this sequel to Hayslip's award-winning 1989 account of her youth in wartime Vietnam, When Heaven and Earth Changed Places, tells how that peasant girl, now in the U.S., parlays a quick wit and a spirit toughened by war, poverty, rape and desertion into personal worth of more than a million dollars, and finds spiritual peace. Wary of men, but hoping unsuccessfully to gain security through two marriages with Americans, she exchanges the horrors of Vietnam for the unknown ones she finds in southern California. There the deaths of both unloved husbands in short order leave her with a little cash, some Social Security aid and income from small jobs. On this, she raises her children (the eldest of whom is her coauthor here), makes canny investments and almost continually suffers through sorry relations with men who deceive her. But religious faith bolsters her, and she finds satisfaction in the foundation she sets up to help her devastated country, called East Meets West. A drama-packed fairy tale cum horror story, the book is filled with cutting observations about American and Vietnamese victims of the war.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

In the compelling When Heaven and Earth Changed Places ( LJ 5/15/89), Hayslip told of her life in Vietnam and her return to find her family. Joined by her son, she here tells of her encounter with U.S. society, struggle for financial independence, several return trips to Vietnam, and founding of the charitable East Meets West Foundation. Her Buddhist-inspired philosophy of peace is sincere, but while her first book evoked admiration, this one presents a stubborn, naive heroine who uses others as much as she is used. There are marriages of convenience, evil relatives (Vietnamese and American), betrayed love, talks with her dead father, fortune-tellers--all the ingredients of a TV miniseries. In fact, the two books are the basis of a forthcoming Oliver Stone movie. For public libraries where the first book was in demand.
- Kenneth W. Berger, Duke Univ. Lib., Durham, N.C.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
I was fortunate enough to come across this wonderful book purely by chance last year.Miss le ly Hayslip gives a truely heart rending account of her life as a little peasant girl living in war torn vietnam.This book really puts you through an emotional meat grinder at times tearing apart your insides with Le ly's terrifying accounts of her own terrible suffering and that of her family and indeed all those around her leaving you with an awful empty feeling of total sadness and total lack of faith for the human race.Amazingly Despite all her own horrific experience of human ignorance and cruelty she bears no ill will or malice towards her fellow man and through her own incredible courage and strength of spirit,she inevitably leaves us all with a strong sense of hope and her message of compassion and peace. Sadly this terrific book seems to have been largly overlooked which is a great shame as it is a real eye opener and has so much more to say than just your average account of the horrors of war.Its a deeply moving account of one very brave little womans triumph of spirit in the face of total adversity.Anyone with the tiniest shred of compassion will be moved to tears.It Really puts our own little problems and gripes into perspective. One of the most profound and touching books i have ever read.I cannot recommend it enough,please get your hands on it and read it NOW.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Traveler on April 9, 2004
Format: Paperback
"Child of War, Woman of Peace" is a little bit of a continuation and a little bit of a repetition of her earlier memoir, "When Heaven and Earth Changed Places." If you've read "Heaven" and enjoyed it you will undoubtedly want to keep going and read this book as well.
Le Ly Hayslip is a woman who was brutalized by all sides in Vietnam. Then she married an abusive American and received some of that same treatment here in the US. What might have caused another person to be bitter, angry and cynical seems to have only strengthened Hayslip's resolve to live and let go. It's clear that her Buddhism played a crucial role in allowing her to do this. I'm not a Buddhist, but I do wonder about the followers of other faiths in their ability to follow in Hayslip's footsteps.
And that's ultimately what I think most readers will get out of this. If you've had a bad day, a bad year, or even bad life - read this book. If Le Ly Hayslip can forgive, move on, and make a positive contribution to this world then just about anyone else can as well. She's an inspiration and a role model to all of us, no matter who you are or what country you live in.
Sadly, Oliver Stone butchered her two books in his movie. The drama, chaos, and the meaning of Le Ly Hayslips actions just aren't conveyed well. If you've seen only the movie you've missed out on the best parts of what Hayslip has to teach us.
I can't recommend this book (and "When Heaven and Earth Changed Places") enough. It needs to be read - by everyone. I can't say that about too many books.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By sengland@unlgrad1.unl.edu on July 22, 1998
Format: Paperback
Literarily, both books are extremely well written. Not quite Hemingway or Shakespeare, but much better than any of those written by the vets (I've read ten of those).
H & E gives the experiences of a victim of the war, atrocities from both sides, but also shows the family love (and spats)that Le Ly lived.
Re the war experiences: I consider this book so important because it demonstrates how extremely evil, in effect if not intent, that a government can be, when it fixates on an ideology, at pursues it at all cost. If communism is evil, so is extreme anti-communism. Young people need to learn the reality behind all the flag-waving and "USA" chanting.
Above all, H & E and the sequel show how one person (sometimes it seems like only one person) was able to overcome the barbarities that the U.S. inflicted upon S.E. Asia. Only one of the vets memoirs, Kontum Diary, gives any glimpse of any growth of humanity.
Personally, I think that Le Ly and ! EMWF deserve the Noble Peace Prize - but they don't accept nominations.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Bill Abendroth on May 18, 2008
Format: Paperback
Tears are falling from my eyes as I write this review...now the LOWEST RATED review of this book. I feel as if I should stop typing and just punch myself in the nose.

Okay....as other reviewers have pointed out, this book is the sequel to Ms. Hayslip's first book 'When Heaven and Earth Changed Places.' Additionally, Oliver Stone bought the film rights to both books, and made a movie with (IMHO) mixed results.

I first saw Ms. Hayslip's book a few years ago, when it was offered as a featured selection in Quality Paperback Bookclub (QPB), as a 'first time' author. As a rule, the editors at QPB know their onions about what makes a rattling good yarn, and QPB (once again) was right on the mark: Heaven & Earth is one of the best books I have ever read. But that book ends with Ms. Hayslip just leaving Vietnam for America with her new serviceman husband. Did she live happily ever after? Inquiring minds wanted to know....

When I stumbled across 'Child of War, Woman of Peace,' the sequel to 'Heaven and Earth,' I was thrilled....But this book is not as good as the first. There; I said it.

Two quick points: First, 'not as good' in this context is already a pretty high bar. As I mentioned, the first book was a wonderful, moving story--both tragic and heroic. Second, I was so wild in 'book reading love' with Ms. Hayslip's character from 'Heaven and Earth,' that I really enjoyed reading this book, and admire more than I can express the candor with how she describes some of the, frankly, poor decisions that she has made in her life--but still she bounces back.

All that said, here's why I have to hang three stars on this book. Overall, the book felt a little rushed to me. The language, the phrasing in 'Heaven and Earth' was so polished, it shined.
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