Hyeonseo Lee grew up in North Korea as one of the more privileged people there. She ate meat every day at least. When she was seventeen, in an act of rebellion, she crossed the river to visit China. She only wanted to visit for a week before she turned eighteen and started college. But she would never be able to return. She had to rebuild her life in China, and later, in South Korea unlearning all the propaganda she was indoctrinated with her whole life, and in general, learning how to live while not getting caught by the police. Then, twelve years later, she would again go on another remarkable journey to get her mother and her brother out of North Korea.
I will admit before picking up this book I knew pretty much nothing about North Korea. This book taught me a lot, and makes me want to know more. Lee’s story was overwhelming and sad and amazing. I was in a constant state of awe while reading.
The story is told in a very clear way. It was never boring or dry. The only thing I didn’t like about the writing was that there was a lot of heavy foreshadowing like, “She made this choice. It was the worst choice she could have made.” And other phrases very similar to that were used almost every chapter. It’s a little thing. Very easy to overlook in the grand scheme of everything, but it did happen and was a little irritating.
In the end, I gave this book five stars. I think it’s another book that everyone should read.