December 8, 2011. The dissident Vietnamese priest Nguyen Van Ly (age sixty-four) is deported from a rest home in the Archdiocese Hue to the concentration camp Nam Ha in the north of the country. Van Ly, who is half paralyzed after having suffered four strokes, still faces five years in prison for his peaceable struggle against the totalitarian communist regime--a peaceable struggle he has waged for nearly forty years.
We follow Father Ly, a nurse, and his guards through the twenty-four hour ordeal of getting from Hue to Nam Ha via ambulance. Arranged according to the liturgy of the hours, each chapter offers a glimpse into the life of Father Ly. This hagiographic journey, here placed in its context of Advent, offers hope for captive and oppressor. And it is hope especially that makes Father Ly realize his life's struggle for religious freedom is not in vain. Indeed, as a goodwill gesture before President Obama's visit to Vietnam, Father Ly will later be released on May 20, 2016.