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Reviewed by Suzanne Cowles for Readers' Favorite
From Laborer to Author: The Flowers in Heaven are Rooted in Hell by Hoa Ming Truong is a heart-wrenching memoir about the author’s real-life experiences surviving the tyranny of the Viet Cong. Organized into eight detailed chapters, the book spans the time just before the fall of Saigon but focuses on the extraordinary thirty years that Truong spent surviving as a prisoner and refugee in the Vietnam War’s aftermath. One cannot review this work without mixed feelings of both joy and sadness. The war was a terrible time in history and many lives were lost. Truong’s personal experiences of brutality, imprisonment and brainwashing at the hands of the Communists and his sheer will to live is truly inspiring. At the core of his determination was a plan to learn the forbidden language of English, a risky move that could have resulted in his death. Studying a pocket dictionary over five years while in the re-education camps fostered hope for a life of freedom in a new world. Now working as a journalist living in Australia, Truong supports his family by writing about the true agenda of the Vietnam Communist Party. His command of English is powerful and his perseverance to overcome adversity is encouraging.
Hoa Ming Truong, in his third book, From Laborer to Author: The Flowers in Heaven are Rooted in Hell warns about the dangers of illegal drugs – the hidden strategy of the Communist regime. He also warns about the corruption of Buddhism and the church leaders who profit from others’ suffering. Even though Truong endured horrors too great to tell, he respects life and thanks the Western countries that have offered asylum to refugees. I have never been so moved by such a tragic story that has a happy outcome.