What were you doing when you were seventeen? North Korean defector Hyeonseo Lee was escaping over the border into China. Disillusioned by the Great Famine of 1990, Hyeonseo sought a better life but it came with the cost of continual subterfuge and reinvention. First China, then South Korea, then a return twelve years later to the Chinese border to smuggle out her mother and brother, this courageous and difficult journey is underpinned by Hyeonseo's strength and determination.
Both a dramatic and powerful personal story and a unique insight into life under the repressive North Korean regime, this is also an inspiring testimony to what people will risk for freedom. [Small font]
Fascinating read. Opened our eyes to the difficulty of life in North Korea.
Was an interesting book. Easy to read and everyone learned a lot about the true nature of North Korea.
Everyone loved this book. All agreed we learnt a lot about North Korea we were largely unaware of previously.
We found this book to be very educational as most of us had no real idea of what is happening in North Korea. A pretty easy read.
Everyone thoroughly enjoyed it. Our understanding of North Korea is much better. Very educational.
Stimulated a lot of discussion around the issues raised in the book. A good read.
Illuminating - very real. Not a book some of us would have chosen to read, but well worth it! Learned a lot. Inspired by her courage and her positive life now!
Extremely interesting read which prompted a lot of discussion. Highly recommended.
An eye-opening account of life in a totalitarian regime. This book elicited much discussion. Some of us questioned the authenticity of some aspects of the story and were bothered by some discrepancies. The word 'escape' in the title was slightly misleading.
Overall everyone in the group enjoyed this book. Admired her tenacity and at times noted how it was just a stroke of luck that came her way at the right time. Hard to fathom just how much open corruption there is in other parts of the world. We were interested to know what her life was like since this book ended. A enjoyable and compelling read.
We all enjoyed this book and admired the resourcefulness of the author in surviving ten years in China illegally! We are so connected in the western world that we found it difficult to understand how a people could tolerate a leadership that promotes isolation and instills such fear in its citizens. However it was an easy read and we are keen to read more about North Korea.
Everyone felt this was a book well worth reading. It prompted discussion around the political situation, corruption, peoples belief systems. It gave us an insight into life in North Korea. Everyone read the book, some found it easy to pick up and put down while others were more engrossed and read it over a couple of days.
A compelling read but the writing wasn't great. One member felt that it didn't quite "ring true" for some reason. However we all learnt a lot about life in North Korea and everybody enjoyed the book.
The group felt the book gave us an insight into life in North Korea and the experiences of an accidental refugee, one who never planned to escape or leave. Hyeonseo comes across as a survivor and a smart young woman, who eventually settles in South Korea. It felt as if some of her experiences were glossed over, and there was rather too much detail in others. As a group, we didn't really enjoy the book, and in fact, only two of us read it till the end.
We generally didn't 'enjoy' this book but were all glad we had read it. We applauded Hyeonseo's courage and resourcefulness in leaving North Korea and finding her way to South Korea. We had a lively discussion on the plus and minus aspects of life as a refugee in a new country.
Very interesting and gripping autobiographical story, and well told. Everybody read the book in 1 or 2 sittings because it was too good to put down.
The group found the book very enlightening rather than enjoyable, but well worth reading. We wondered how much had been embellished, probably to protect people.
We all enjoyed this thought-provoking book that opened our minds to life inside North Korea. It generated some great discussion about culture, politics and living in foreign countries. Well worth the read. Definitely recommend.
We enjoyed the book, finding it very informative on life in North Korea, which all thought horrific. Makes our attitude to privacy seem very small minded.
We found this book readable and interesting. We read "Dear Leader" about another North Korean defector earlier this year and thought that the two books complemented each other.
We found it interesting and an "eye opener" to how North Korea functions. She was an amazing young woman who survived despite some hair raising risks, and it read very well.
Most of our group found the story fascinating and enjoyed the book. We all felt we learnt a lot about both North and South Korea, and of the struggles of immigrants having to adjust to new social norms and customs. It opened our eyes to the realities of North Korea.