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Soles of a Survivor

A Memoir

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The Unbelievable True Story of a Vietnamese Refugee Who Not Only Made the United States Her Home, But Learned the True Value of Hope, Love, and Religion Along the Way

The soles of Nhi Aronheim's feet still bear the scars of her escape from Vietnam—trudging through the jungles of Cambodia as a twelve-year-old with a group of strangers seeking the land of opportunity: America. Her quest for survival through the Cambodian jungle eventually led her to a boat that took her to Thailand and an orphanage where Nhi lived for two years until she qualified for refugee status in the United States. Years later, she returned to Vietnam with a film producer to reunite with the family she never thought she’d see again. A second trip to Vietnam brought her two mothers, birth and adopted, face to face.

Yet Soles of a Survivor isn’t just another inspirational survival story. It’s about the lessons Nhi learned about humanity, diversity, and unconditional love since arriving in the United States. She now has a deeper appreciation for the parallels between the Jewish and Vietnamese cultures, and others. After she met her Jewish beau, they got married. She eventually converted to Judaism, though the process was challenging for an Asian woman adopted into a Christian household. Her story shows it matters less what religion we’re part of, as long as we radiate goodness to those we meet.

Now she relishes being a Vietnamese Jew.

Having come full circle from prosperity to poverty and back, Nhi hopes to encourage others to believe that in spite of overwhelming odds, all things are possible if one has an intense desire, focused energy, and the audacity to grasp presented opportunities.