I will start this review by admitting that I'm not much of an avid book reader. In fact I probably only read one book a year despite my best efforts and vowing to myself every New Year to read more. It takes a lot to grab my attention as I'm far too easily distracted and I much prefer reading biographies to fiction because I really enjoy learning about peoples lives - I think this is partly due to the 'journalist' in me, always looking for something to investigate.
Yeonmi Park's 'In Order to Live' depicts the autobiographical true story of a thirteen year old Yeonmi Park, who risked her life when she and her family fled North Korea. The book reveals her journey, the harrowing experiences she encountered, her battle with starvation and what life was like growing up in one of the world's most notorious communist countries. When you think you know all that is needed to know about North Korea, this book takes you that one step further into understanding the lives of the people who live there and the level of control the government has on its people. From propaganda to torture, rape to starvation, Yeonmi and her family have been through it all and 'In order to Live' gives you a glimpse into what they have had to endure in just 273 pages.
What is fascinating about this book is that despite her ordeal, Yeonmi still shows very little bitterness and everything she says is so equivalently written without any hate. Yeonmi had to grow up fast living the life she did and her book is written with a level of maturity that you would expect of someone thrice her age.
Without a doubt, this book was one of the best books I have read in a long time and I would recommend it all. It is insightful, educational and inspirational and Yeonmi is a remarkable woman.
Have you read this book?