Synopses & Reviews
It is said that in war heaven and earth change places not once, but many times. When Heaven and Earth Changed Places
is the haunting memoir of a girl on the verge of womanhood in a world turned upside down. The youngest of six children in a close-knit Buddhist family, Le Ly Hayslip was twelve years old when U.S. helicopters langed in Ky La, her tiny village in central Vietnam. As the government and Viet Cong troops fought in and around Ky La, both sides recruited children as spies and saboteurs. Le Ly was one of those children.
Before the age of sixteen, Le Ly had suffered near-starvation, imprisonment, torture, rape, and the deaths of beloved family membersbut miraculously held fast to her faith in humanity. And almost twenty years after her escape to Ameica, she was drawn inexorably back to the devastated country and family she left behind. Scenes of this joyous reunion are interwoven with the brutal war years, offering a poignant picture of vietnam, then and now, and of a courageous woman who experienced the true horror of the Vietnam Warand survived to tell her unforgettable story.
"A wonderful, wondrous book by a remarkable woman."
Amy Tan, author of The Joy Luck Club
"Touching and illuminating . . . lucid, lyrical . . . a searing and human account."
New York Times Book Review
"Should not be missed by anyone . . . No one who reads it will ever be able to think about the Vietnam War in quite the same way again."
"Riveting and historic . . . engrossing and beautifully told . . . impossible to put down."
San Francisco Chronicle
Le Ly recounts her childhood in Ky La and her return to Vietnam in 1986 to search for the family she had left behind.