Diem Ngueyn's autobiography, Walk Around the Tree, chronicles her real life adventures from age four through early adulthood. The title comes from her first successful experience outside her home after having been sick with polio, but also represents the brave determination one must have to successfully walk through all of life's challenges. The first half of the book is about growing up in post-war Vietnam, and presents the lasting effects war had on life in that country as could only be seen through the eyes of a child, each event explained the way she experienced it. Diem only wanted a normal peaceful life, focusing on the same interests all young girls have. But the war that was supposed to be over kept intruding on her life, from her father's arrest for having aided the Americans, to the tragedy of someone stumbling over abandoned explosives. The central chapters of the book detail her coming to America and her struggle to learn a completely new language and culture, with determination to become a full participant in it. Even her own family members were holding her back, thinking there was no need for her to get an education or to have her own home and social life. But Diem found a way and the people who could help, accomplishing everything she'd set out to do. The last third of the book is an intense love story which flows like a romantic novel. Diem fell deeply in love with a handsome man her age, and vividly details those three years in a way that is surprisingly personal, descriptive, and honest. Then she ends her writing with a chapter that looks to the past with appreciation, and to the future with high expectations. A subtle sub-theme that gradually develops from chapter to chapter, is her belief in the Divine. What she first thought was only a dream, repeatedly brought her protection and guidance in new and unusual ways, leading her to become convinced her "guardian angel" really exists, and will never abandon her. Above all else, this book infuses one with the encouraging belief that no matter what problems life might bring, there is ALWAYS an answer. We simply have to be willing to take that first step, and then "Walk Around the Tree".