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In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom [9780241973035]

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'On the cold, black night of 31 March 2007, my mother and I scrambled down the steep, rocky bank of the frozen Yalu River that divides North Korea and China. There were patrols above us and below...' This is the incredible, true story of thirteen-year-old Yeonmi Park, who risked her life when she and her family fled North Korea. Yeonmi Park was not dreaming of freedom when she escaped from North Korea. She didn't even know what it meant to be free. All she knew was that she was running for her life, that if she and her family stayed behind they would die - from starvation, or disease, or even execution. This book is the story of Park's struggle to survive in the darkest, most repressive country on earth; her harrowing escape through China's underworld of smugglers and human traffickers; and then her escape from China across the Gobi desert to Mongolia, with only the stars to guide her way, and from there to South Korea and at last to freedom; and finally her emergence as a leading human rights activist - all before her 21st birthday.

Revealing what it was like to live under a brutally repressive regime, which starved and terrorised its people, Yeonmi tells of her family's courageous decision to escape and of the extraordinary, heartbreaking journey that followed, culminating in a daring night-time trek across the Gobi Desert to freedom. It is a story of astonishing endurance - both physical and mental - which has already inspired people all over the world.

'An epic, harrowing and heartbreaking story' Guardian

'A testimony to the incredible resilience of the human spirit' Daily Telegraph

'Yeonmi lifts the lid on the brutal regime of Kim Jong II, of people starving, helpless citizens doing whatever they can to survive' Daily Mail


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Yeonmi Park
Penguin Books Ltd
231 Grams
  • 5
    Incredible insight into the North Korean regime

    Posted by Bryony on 9th Apr 2021

    This is definitely worth a read. The autobiography covers the aspects of life under the control of the North Korean regime. It reveals the harsh reality of what really goes on in North Korea that the rest of the world is unaware of, even majority of the population of North Korea are unable to see what horrible conditions they are in because of the use of propaganda controlling their views. Yeonmi and her family have to sacrifice a lot in order to reach safety and have a life away from North Korea.

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