• When Heaven and Earth Changed Places

  • A Vietnamese Woman's Journey from War to Peace
  • By: Le Ly Hayslip, Jay Wurts
  • Narrated by: Nancy Kwan
  • Length: 3 hrs and 3 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 12-15-99
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Phoenix Books
  • 4 out of 5 stars 3.8 (52 ratings)

Regular price: $11.87

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Publisher's Summary

This haunting memoir tells the brutal story of the Vietnam War from the perspective of an innocent victim whose childhood was dominated by violence, devastation, and conflicts between the teachings of her culture and the realities of war. The youngest in a close-knit Buddhist family, Le Ly Hayslip was 12 years old when U.S. helicopters landed in her village. She was raped and "ruined" for marriage by Viet Cong soldiers, imprisoned and tortured by the South Vietnamese, and sentenced to death by the Viet Cong. Ultimately fleeing to the U.S. with her children, she finally found peace, and in 1986, she was reunited with her family in Vietnam. The story of her homecoming, interwoven with her memories of the war years, paints a vivid picture of a noble, optimistic woman and her native country.
©1989 by Le Ly Hayslip and Charles Jay Wurts (P)1989 Dove Books on Tape Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By heatherhg on 07-01-07

Difficult to listen to

This book is quite remarkable, but the narrator and the condition of the recording make it impossible to listen to, I had to resort to the book instead. Too bad.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By Gabrielle on 11-02-16


This is a horrible audible only because it doesn't read word for word of the book, and is skipped most of the book. I have no idea what was going on the entire time or where to read along to.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By jamzon on 12-05-14

Fascinating perspective

Having visited Danang several times and spoken with many people, including some of Hayslips contemporaries, I agree with some opinions that what this book may perhaps sacrifice in terms of literal adherence to events, it more than makes up for in a great story and vivid impression of those tragic and temultuous times. It also gives an insight into how some (of the many different peoples in and around that region) felt and were motivated to do what they did and how the events subsequently shaped their lives.

I really enjoyed the narration. It was a unique style but seemed to me wholly fitting. I listened to this book while looking out at the similar life and scenery in a neighbouring country I was travelling through - it made it so much more memorable than focusing on a printed page could have ever been.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Em on 04-01-17

such a moving story!

helps understand the challenges of growing up in a war zone. empathize with refuges and migrants, it's amazing the hardships some people have lived through.

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4 out of 5 stars
By alison on 06-04-15

A story of survival and courage, truly moving.

This book opens your eyes to the horrors of war and its far reaching consequences on those it touches. How it can turn ordinary people into monsters never ceases to frighten me. The book describes Le Ly's life and how it unfolds as she grows from a girl to a young woman. It does not sensationalise war, it is purely a story of human survival against the odds. At times it was hard to listen to and I had to stop and take time away, appreciating all the good I have in my life. Man's inhumanity to man can never be fathomed. Yet here are people who have seen such horror and atrocities and are still able to build lives for themselves and even find forgiveness.
I am fortunate enough to have travelled to Vietnam a number of times, a part of the world that stole my heart many years ago, and I think it is important to hear these people's stories and appreciate the history behind the ever growing Westernisation that is taking place.

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