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Where the Wind Leads: A Refugee Family's Miraculous Story of Loss, Rescue, and Redemption Hardcover – April 22, 2014

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Where the Wind Leads: A Refugee Family's Miraculous Story of Loss, Rescue, and Redemption + He Walks Among Us: Encounters with Christ in a Broken World
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (April 22, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0849947561
  • ISBN-13: 978-0849947568
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (189 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,908 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Vinh Chung graduated Harvard magna cum laude and attended Harvard Medical School for his MD. Dr. Chung studied at the University of Sydney as a Fulbright Scholar and completed a Master of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Dr. Chung also holds a Master of Theology from the University of Edinburgh and currently serves on the board for World Vision US. Dr. Chung and his wife Leisle have four children and run a successful private medical practice.

Tim Downs is the author of nine novels including the Christy Award-winning PlagueMaker and the highly acclaimed series of Bug Man novels. Tim lives in North Carolina with his wife Joy. They have three grown children.

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Customer Reviews

It's very well written and a truly inspiring story.
Judith Wachholz
This story is an amazing tale of the strength of family, determination, faith, and overcoming any obstacle.
Amazon Customer
This is truly a story of God's amazing grace and sovereignty.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Kyliegirl on April 22, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book.

Where the Wind Leads is the story of a family forced out of Vietnam in the aftermath of the Vietnam war. The first part of the book chronicles the life they abandoned when they fled and their harrowing journey as unwanted "boat people" in desperate search of a place to land.

Then the story shifts. They are welcomed to a small town in Arkansas, and face the challenge of learning an entirely new culture. This is an especially strong section, as the author does a great job of detailing small cultural differences and how they add up to make communication and integration unexpectedly difficult.

Then my favorite part is where he shares about being a nerdy high school kid trying to connect with a girl he's attracted to. These scenes are just so sweet and hapless, and they had me cheering for him and laughing at the same time. Also, they provide a nice balance to the intensity of the first part of the book. It was nice to see a child who almost didn't survive wrestling with everyday questions about what to say to a girl.

The back cover of this book calls it "a story of personal sacrifice, redemption, endurance against almost insurmountable odds, and what it truly means to be American." Often, cover copy is hyperbole, but in this case the book more than delivers. I'm still thinking about this story days after turning the last page. Highly recommend.

Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By G. S. Cook on April 28, 2014
Format: Hardcover
While I do love to read for a variety of reasons, there are some books that come along that hit one at a deeper level…these are the books that cut into your bedtime and then into your sleep time as you go over in your head what you just absorbed. Where the Wind Leads was one of those books for me. It’s not fiction, or even a biography, but a memoir. For me, it was also a history lesson.
Where the Wind Leads tells the story of a family – a well-to-do Chinese family – who happened to live in South Vietnam. Through various set-backs and wars, they had managed to prosper, but the Vietnam War which ended with the takeover by Communism, proved to be the one storm they could not ride out.
I grew up during the Vietnam War – living an insulated life as many of us did – we heard of terrible things, of young men killed, of anti-war demonstrations, but we did not hear the story as told by a Vietnamese family. And I’d heard of the “boat people” – those who were sponsored by churches in America, starting over in a new land. But that sentence covers most of what I knew.
Vinh Chung tells the story from a different perspective – as one of the youngest children in a large family, and with the memories of his family to help him. He tells the story of the money it took to bribe officials to leave, the fear of boarding a boat that was barely sea-worthy, for an unknown future, of moving slowly through heavy waves with no land in sight, through pirate-infested waters. And then, when the joy of land appeared, to find it patrolled by unhospitable soldiers, because of the thousands of refugees who had already come. This is a story of hardship and hunger and fear and courage, but as you continue to read, you realize that it’s also a story of God’s grace.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By anillini71 on June 13, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Amazon Review
Where the Wind Leads, by Vinh Chung with Tim Downs.

Most of the reviews of this book, at Amazon and elsewhere, seem to be addressed to a religious audience. The book deserves a wider audience -- among those more inclined toward the secular, toward humanism, toward science, and especially those with an interest in sociology.

There is nothing in the book that should put such readers off. On the first page of the Forward, written by Richard Stearns, the President of World Vision U. S., Stearns writes:
"All along the way good people, and many good Christians, intervened with a helping hand."

A father is frantically running, carrying his ten-year old son, who is near death, to a hospital in a strange land. A woman stops him -- a stranger. She speaks French, which he can't understand. She hands him a few bills and he is able to take a cab to the hospital. Leaving the hospital, again carrying his weak son, another stranger hands him $5, and he is able to take a cab back to the refugee camp. A stranger tucks a $100 bill into the shirt pocket of a three-and-a-half year old refugee boy who is rushing through the San Francisco airport with his family, and that $100 enables the Chung family to buy food in their new home in America. We know nothing about the religious perspectives of these strangers. We do know that they were good, decent, humane. And there is no religious test that people must pass before they may pay taxes to support programs such as food stamps, subsidized housing, and free school lunches -- programs that helped to save the Chung family.

Anyone who has an interest in "the boat people" who fled Vietnam after South Vietnam fell to the communists in 1975 will find this book enlightening. Who were they?
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