In Order to Live

In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom (2015) by Yeonmi Park.


I’m not sure how I end up reading so many books about North Korea, but I do. This is about the 5th book I’ve read, about a North Korean girl struggling to survive and (later) escape North Korea.

It is a memoir, told in the first person point of view, and very personal. Yeonmi Park is extremely brave in this book, being brutally honest about her story, even the most difficult parts which were hard to read, but I imagine, even harder to write.

This book is very human, in that it’s hard to find out who the villains really are. The people in Yeonmi’s life make decisions based on survival, fear, hunger, and confusion. They do the best they can, which makes for many moral grey areas.

I read this book in less than a week, because it was so interesting and compelling. Though I already knew much about North Korea (because I’ve read so many books already), I still learned more– about the history, the way of life, and the families who live there. I also learned what usually happens to the women who defect into China.

All in all, a fantastic book for those who love nonfiction and current events.

이 책이 좋은 책이에요 👍 Questo libro è un buon libro.

안녕! Bye! Ciao!

jarilissima

12 comments

    • Definitely. Her story was amazing and I admire her tenacity! It was also interesting to see how the dissolution of the Soviet Union affected North Korea, and also what can happen to defectors in China. A real eye-opener for sure! Thanks for dropping by my blog 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • If you would like to read about a Christian’s amazing faith in the face of a really, really bad situation, I recommend “Not Forgotten” by Kenneth Bae. He’s a Christian missionary who accidentally brought a hard drive into North Korea (that’s illegal there) and became imprisoned.

      If you’d like a book with a lower price, though, “In Order to Live” (the one I reviewed) should still be on sale 🙂

      They are both incredible books, although I must warn they both include pretty bad hardships that can be difficult to read.

      Like

  1. So true, what you said about people’s doing bad things because of survival, fear, hunger, and confusion. No one just wakes up one morning and decides to be an evil person, and some of us may consider ourselves good, when in fact we are just blessed.

    Liked by 1 person

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