Hyeonnseo’s page turning memoir begins when she was a child growing up in a loving family in Hyesan, North Korea near the border with China. Her life was simple until she was school-age and her political indoctrination began, where speaking even a word against Kim il-sung and his son, Kim John-il had diabolical consequences. As she grew older, more political involvement was expected of her until the great famine occurred partly from the Soviet Union’s collapse. Teaches praised the Great Leaders for eating less during this time, but Hyeonnseo noticed no change in their robust bodies.
When she was seventeen she decided to cross the Yalu River into China to visit her relatives who had defected years ago. She didn’t know that this journey would have life-long consequences. If you want to know what’s happening to ordinary citizens in North Korea, this memoir is a must