Find out the latest indie author news. For FREE.


Kathleen Kaiser
Service Provider
Undeterred: How one determined Vietnamese orphan carved out a place for himself in America
Bruce Carlin, author
It’s a twenty-foot drop off Flower Bridge… With tanks approaching and bombs exploding mere yards away, five-year-old Long has only moments to decide whether to risk the jump to join his brother in the water below. The boys must leave everything they know in order to survive and unknowingly have embarked on an intense journey, one that will lead to a new life in America. But even having come so far, the boys will face new perils in the United States and find that the only thing they can depend on is each other. Encountering the indifference and neglect inside a string of foster homes, Long determines that the only way to regain his independence is to earn his own money. On a quest to have $5,000 by the time he turns sixteen, Long begins collecting bottles and cans by dumpster-diving and takes a job doing janitorial work. Even after volunteering for military service, Long found ways to make money and save. But that is only the first of many financial and personal goals Long will set for himself, and far exceed. Join Long from his early life as an orphan, narrowly escaping the horrors of the Vietnam war with his older brother, to his current life as a family man with an investment portfolio methodically accumulated, now worth over $50 million. UNDETERRED is a moving ride through the life of one determined boy who, despite the bigotry and hate he faces, carves out a place for himself in America.
Through this succinct but deeply moving account, Carlin relays the story of Long, a Vietnamese-American man who has been a close professional associate of Carlin’s since 2007. Long, an orphan from Vietnam, along with his half brother Duc, escaped the horrors of the Vietnam war when they were rescued by American soldiers. After reaching the states, the brothers faced another set of grim challenges, shuttling from one foster home to another, trying first to assimilate and then to thrive in American society. Long’s success is hard won, vividly described, and certain to make readers cheer.

This heart-warming story will resonate with anyone fascinated by immigrant stories or seeking inspiration and motivation to fight all odds and achieve their goals. It is evident that Carlin has taken great pains to understand and accurately depict Long’s arduous, transformative journey from an orphan in Vietnam to, eventually, a multi-millionaire in America. Striking details like the time Long spent in libraries, researching success stories, or the Camel cigarettes that Vietnamese women bartered to rescue their sons from the clutches of the South Vietnamese army–Long recalls the brand from the image on the packages– lend the account convincing power. As the story progresses from Long’s childhood in Vietnam to the rest of his life in America, the pace of the narrative also quickens, at times even rushing through key events, such as Long facing the aftermath of a family tragedy.

Still, the memoir finds its rhythm by the end, laying out details of how Long wooed his future wife Loan. In the last chapter, Long and Loan run into a woman from Long’s past in Hong Kong. The woman, Ba Phuong, had nurtured Long and his brother as her own children when they were growing up as orphans in Vietnam. This incident brings the story full circle and ties the narrative together through a satisfying end.

Takeaway: The inspiring story of a Vietnamese orphan who became an American multi-millionaire.

Great for fans of: Kelli Nguyen-Ha’s Immigrant Millionaire, Qian Julie Wang’s Beautiful Country.

Production grades
Cover: B
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A-
Marketing copy: A