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Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite
Following her last book, Red Blood, Yellow Skin: A Young Girl’s Survival in War-torn Vietnam, this book, Red Blood, Yellow Skin: Endless Journey, begins towards the end of the 1960s as Linda Loan Thi Baer prepares for her marriage to Don, an American Air Force officer. Their wedding and honeymoon are nothing short of hilarious. When Don proposes that they move to the US, Linda is beside herself with excitement but heart-broken to leave her family behind. In the US, however, life is not as Linda envisioned it. From their trip back to Vietnam and a three-year stay in Iran, the family comes close to death many times. While fleeing Vietnam as North Vietnamese forces invade South Vietnam in 1975, the family closely misses getting on board the C-5 Air Force plane that crashes, killing 155 passengers. In Iran, they leave suddenly in 1978 as tension intensifies prior to the Iranian Revolution.
Despite their misfortunes, Linda and Don laugh and poke fun at their minor misadventures as they endure the more heart-breaking and stressful ones. The story opens with a humorous scene of a half-naked police chief holding his gun at Don, who is screaming in pain as a crab pinches his toe. Such instances make the scenes comical. Linda and Don’s determination is inspiring. Despite the many challenges they face, they manage to rise above it all and continue. Linda manages to acquire her GED certificate and goes on to get her cosmetology license. She later establishes her own salon business. The couple’s loyalty to each other provides support during their most difficult times. A story of misfortune, happiness, incredible love, and adventure driven by wanderlust and courage, Red Blood, Yellow Skin: Endless Journey is a phenomenal memoir. A good book for fans of memoirs and cultural adventures.