A beautiful example of what is possible if you set your mind to something and put in the effort to achieve it. Her life is an amazing story of surviving every hardship after the war in Vietnam.
Told through the eyes of a child as she grows into adulthood, Diem’s indomitable spirit, positive attitude, and love of life shine through every word. Take Diem's hand and walk with her around the tree. More
On a moonlit night shining with mystery and wonder, four-year-old Diem Ai Nguyen tastes a sparkling pebble from the ground…and unknowingly takes into her body the seeds of polio, which changes her life forever. Diem’s body is permanently damaged; but by following the advice of an angel who visits her in a dream, Diem discovers a unique way to walk again. And her remarkable spirit soon transcends the limitations of her body as she finds ways to live joyfully, creatively, lovingly…stepping into her future with a boundless spirit of adventure.
You will be spellbound by the vivid tales of her childhood in Vietnam, surviving hardships while her father is in prison for conspiring to support the Americans during the war, and then enjoying natural beauty, friendships, and independence when her family moves to a special community in the jungle, where Diem learns an array of skills from salt-making to music-making that allow her to start a unique business.
Diem can’t imagine a better life than the jungle, but everything changes when her father is given special help to bring his family to America. After settling in Texas, new challenges and new opportunities await Diem. With her trademark determination and innovation, Diem learns English and goes to college to earn her degree—without ever having set foot in a school before! Her achievements are enhanced by the transcendent experience of falling in love…but life has some unexpected lessons for Diem that not even a college degree can prepare her for.
Told with tenderness, humor, and honesty, Walk Around the Tree is a memoir that will inspire and delight from the first page to the last. Diem’s indomitable spirit, positive attitude, and love of life shine through every word. Take a walk with Diem, first around her childhood tree, and then further into the depths of the jungle, the vastness of America, and the secrets of the human heart. With Diem as your companion and guide, life will never look quite the same again.