I have read a few books about the frightening authoritarian regime of North Korea. I particularly loved this true story of one young girls decision to escape and the harrowing details her escape entailed. Here is my book review The Girl with Seven Names: Escape from North Korea by Hyeonseo Lee.
Described as ruthless and secretive, the dictatorship of North Korea tries to make both the outside world and it’s own citizens believe it is a powerful utopian society. But it is far from it. The brutal regime creates a world where it’s citizens starve or work themselves to death. A life where illegal activity is a norm just to feed your family. A secretive and terrifying life where citizens just disappear never to be seen again.
At age seventeen Hyeonseo decides to leave her mother and brother and cross the river to China. Her first thought is she would go just for a few days and then cross back. But it will be twelve years before she sees her family again.
Through it all she lives a secretive life trying to avoid extradition and starvation. Eventually she meets a man who she is initially afraid to be honest with. But he is encouraging to her and she finally decides to leave China and make her way to South Korea and claim asylum.
Eventually she will undertake a harrowing journey to save her mother and brother. It is all a miracle really, and something few people would attempt.
Well written and easy to read, I enjoyed this story of this brave girl. I think you will too. Thank you for reading my book review The Girl with Seven Names: Escape from North Korea by Hyeonseo Lee.
****Four stars for The Girl with Seven Names: Escape from North Korea by Hyeonseo Lee
See last week book review Booth by Karen Joy Fowler.
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