With North Korea as this book’s backdrop and a harrowing true story of survival and escaping the unthinkable, this book grabs you by your ear on the very first page. Little has ever been known of this private, contained and systematic country but in this enigmatic memoir, Yeonmi Park, describes in tragic detail the normality of her daily life as she remembers it. Her suffering is only punctuated further by her innocence of what she imagined normal life to be like everywhere else in the world. She talks about simple luxuries we, in North America, take for granted like being allowed to wear a pair of jeans, watching television, and the joys of eating a raspberry (something she didn’t even know existed until she escaped her former home).
Under the North Korean dictatorship, Yeonmi and her close-knit family slowly began to realize that staying in North Korea would only lead to negative and possibly detrimental outcomes. Their endless trials in a time when hope waned so thin and all the times that fate had escaped their grasp is what truly makes this a heartbreaking and unbelievable tale to read. Yeonmi’s strong reserve, survival instincts, and indomitable spirit makes her the only heroine you want to root for, and you do- long after you finish the book.