The Life She Once Knew: The Incredible True Story of Queena, The Bloomingdale Library Attack Survivor

by Vanna Nguyen

Genres: Inspirational, Memoir

ISBN: 9781620207277

Price: $16.99


In 1981, a mother faced death as she lay on the floor of a small boat in the South China Sea fleeing for her life after the Vietnam War.

In 2008, her daughter lay awaiting death after being brutally raped and beaten while returning books at the Bloomingdale Regional Library.

The brutal attack against Queena left her with a traumatic brain injury and the inability to walk, see, or speak. While Vanna Nguyen poured herself into helping her severely disabled daughter after the attack, she also struggled with reliving her own history, and more so, with how to forgive the young man who hit her daughter so forcefully that he cracked her skull, stole her daughter’s innocence, took away her daughter’s future, and changed both their lives forever.

In The Life She Once Knew: The Incredible True Story of Queena, The Bloomingdale Library Attack Survivor, Vanna Nguyen speaks candidly about faith, love, and forgiveness through hard times and chronicles the deeply emotional and powerful journeys of these two women as they fight for their lives and their futures decades apart.



As a young child, Vanna Nguyen enjoyed a prestigious life in South Vietnam until the country's fall to Communism in 1975. After risking her life for the dream of freedom, she fled to the United States where she became a citizen and raised her two daughters, Anna and Queena. Life was perfect until 18-year-old Queena was brutally attacked and raped while dropping books off at the local library. As a result of the attack, Vanna lost not only her once-thriving small business, but she also lost her beloved daughter as she knew her. Today, Vanna is a tireless advocate for Queena's rehabilitation from traumatic brain injury sustained during the attack. Vanna manages the popular Join Queena website and official social media accounts. Vanna was compelled to write her memoir to share her journey as a refugee and as a mother whose daughter suffered a traumatic brain injury. Vanna hopes her story will inspire others and will imbue them with strength.