Soles of a Survivor: A Memoir

Soles of a Survivor: A Memoir

by Nhi Aronheim
Soles of a Survivor: A Memoir

Soles of a Survivor: A Memoir

by Nhi Aronheim


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781510760288
Publisher: Skyhorse
Publication date: 05/25/2021
Pages: 344
Sales rank: 528,645
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range: 3 Months to 18 Years

About the Author

Nhi Aronheim stands at only four feet, nine inches tall, but her story is immense. Several anthologies, including Kentucky Women: Two Centuries of Indomitable Spirit and Vision, and a documentary aired on PBS, Vietnam 101, have profiled her harrowing journey as a child refugee who escaped war-torn Vietnam in search of the American dream. Nhi worked for four years as a telecommunications consultant, during which time she met and married a Jewish man and converted to Judaism in 2004. Nhi has two beautiful children who she has raised to embrace Vietnamese and Jewish cultures. After transitioning to sales and marketing in the mortgage industry—where Nhi worked for over sixteen years—she retired from the mortgage industry as a marketing specialist at the age of forty-one to have opportunities to pay it forward. Next to her family, Nhi’s passion is to make a positive difference in people’s lives. She volunteers as a mediator for courts and the Better Business Bureau in Colorado, in addition to being an interpreter. Wanting to improve her public speaking skill, Nhi has been an active member of Toastmasters for over five years where she has held positions as President, V.P. of Public Relations and V.P. of Education for her chapter. Visit her at her website:

Table of Contents

Author's Note ix

Introduction xi

Part 1 Remembering 1

Chapter 1 Beginnings 3

Chapter 2 The Great Escape 44

Chapter 3 Sink or Swim 55

Chapter 4 Refugee Camp 68

Chapter 5 Minors Center 81

Part 2 My New Life in America 97

Chapter 6 Coming to America 99

Chapter 7 Mary Lou 114

Chapter 8 College 130

Chapter 9 Family Reunion 147

Chapter 10 Living Abroad 158

Chapter 11 The Cold Call 167

Part 3 Becoming 181

Chapter 12 The Chance Encounter 183

Chapter 13 Mother, Meet My Mother! 195

Chapter 14 Thinking about Jeff 208

Chapter 15 Meeting the Family 222

Chapter 16 I Do 235

Chapter 17 New Life, New Job 256

Chapter 18 Jewitnamese 265

Chapter 19 Our Family Grows … Again! 288

Chapter 20 Life Today 304

Afterword 311

Acknowledgments 312

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