Am I unlucky because of the terrible things that happened to me as a child, or am I lucky because of the life I lead now? I hardly know myself. All I can tell you is that no sane person would ever choose war over peace. War is inhuman madness. War is what people do to each other when they have completely forgotten the sacredness of life.
In 1978, Juliet Lac fled war-ravaged Vietnam in a fishing boat, desperately hoping to find freedom in America. Conditions on the small, overcrowded vessel were horrific, and eight days into the journey, disaster struck. As the craft came in sight of shore, it was hit by a ferocious storm. The boat sank with the loss of half of the 350 passengers on board, but miraculously Juliet escaped, eventually making her way to the USA to begin her new life.
Aged only 11, Juliet had witnessed at first hand the barbarity of war, and after the death of her father and her younger sister, she and her mother were left to struggle on in poverty. But their flight to the West did not have a fairy-tale ending, and in the coming years they faced a struggle to integrate into their new society.
This is a remarkable and inspirational story of a war child's fight first for survival in the devastated landscape of Vietnam and then for acceptance in the affluent West.
Juliet Lac was born in Vietnam in 1967, raised in California and moved to Paris with her family in 1996. While there she launched the Paris Woman Journal, a website for English-speaking expatriate women living in Paris. She now lives in California.