SONG OF SAIGON: One Woman's Journey to Freedom

Anh Vu Sawyer, Author, Pam Proctor, Joint Author . Warner Faith $17.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-446-52908-2

This is the poignant, well-told story of Sawyer, who, at the age of 20, fled her native Vietnam just as the North Vietnamese stood poised to capture Saigon. Anh Sawyer tells of her harrowing escape, along with throngs of other panicked Vietnamese, through the American Embassy and onto a boat overcrowded with other refugees. But her account begins with the colorful history of her family, starting with her grandfather's conversion to Christianity, and the history of Vietnam, including previous occupations by various countries. Sawyer's Vietnam is in constant turmoil; inhabitants are in fear for their lives and the lives of family and friends. Her Christian faith keeps her strong throughout the ordeal, but she finds that Americans can also be terrifying, for instance when an American holds a gun to her father's head inside the American Embassy in Saigon. The author and her entire family are adopted by a Christian family in Illinois, and she is sent to college, where she lives like a normal young American. But after her marriage to a fellow student, Philip Sawyer, she finds life in America disappointing, until her faith in God restores her strength. Joining a missionary group, Sawyer returns to Vietnam—something she had vowed never to do—after an absence of nearly two and a half decades, and finds the return intimidating at first, with a frightening encounter with a customs official. But after reuniting with the people of her homeland, she is soon comforted by finding her former church. This is a moving story, and thanks partly to the skill of Proctor (coauthor of Willard Scott's The Joy of Living), readers will stay with it to the end.. (Feb. 18)

Reviewed on: 02/03/2003
Release date: 02/01/2003
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-446-69289-2
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