In Order to Live

Yeonmi Park. Penguin Press, $27.95 (288p) ISBN 9781594206795
In 2007, the thirteen-year-old malnourished Park and her mother fled to China from North Korea. Park skillfully details the total mind control, fear and starvation which constitute the nightmarish daily life under North Korea's Kim dynasty. Park and her mother were also searching for her older sister, who escaped the country just a few days earlier. Park's narrative chronicles the downfall of her relatively prosperous family following her father's arrest and imprisonment for trading on the black market. Soon after, the family began its descent into starvation. Once in China, the pair, thinking they had reached freedom or at least food, instead realized they were now victims of human trafficking. "We had come to a bad place, maybe even worse than the one we had left." Eventually Park finds her way across Mongolia to South Korea. Following a painful period of adjustment to a new life, Park finds her footing. She gets her GED, she attends university, and even becomes a television celebrity on a talk and talent show featuring North Korean defectors. Now a leading human rights advocate, Park's remarkable and inspiring story shines a light on a country whose inhabitants live in misery beyond comprehension. Park's important memoir showcases the strength of the human spirit and one young woman's incredible determination to never be hungry again.
Reviewed on: 01/18/2016
Release date: 09/29/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-61176-466-6
Hardcover - 978-1-4104-8338-6
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-14-310974-7
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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