Tuesday, 8 September 2015

A Thousand Miles to Freedom: My Escape from North Korea by Eunsun Kim, Sébastien Falletti, David Tian

Eunsun Kim was born in North Korea, one of the most secretive and oppressive countries in the modern world. As a child Eunsun loved her country…despite her school field trips to public executions, daily self-criticism sessions, and the increasing gnaw of hunger as the country-wide famine escalated.


By the time she was eleven years old, Eunsun's father and grandparents had died of starvation, and Eunsun too was in danger of starving. Finally, her mother decided to escape North Korea with Eunsun and her sister, not knowing that they were embarking on a journey that would take them nine long years to complete. Before finally reaching South Korea and freedom, Eunsun and her family would live homeless, fall into the hands of Chinese human traffickers, survive a North Korean labor camp, and cross the deserts of Mongolia on foot.


Now, in A Thousand Miles to Freedom, Eunsun is sharing her remarkable story to give voice to the tens of millions of North Koreans still suffering in silence. Told with grace and courage, her memoir is a riveting exposé of North Korea's totalitarian regime and, ultimately, a testament to the strength and resilience of the human spirit. 

My thoughts:
Now and then I read a memoir. I have read some good ones, I could not put down Malika Oufkir's book, Wild Swans moved me, and Leaving Mother Lake was so interesting. While this book failed in that aspect, it was the simplicity of the book. It was just too simple for what it was about.

I wanted more horror, misery. Ok so that might sound bad, but I just expected more from a book about North Korea. But then the book was not really about North Korea, it was about trying to survive in China.

I was told about starvation and how relatives and friends died left and right. Yes that is horrible, but that was the only horrific part she ever knew. I learned they were given 1 kg of candy on their glorious leader's birthday and how the capital was the most wonderful place ever. But then she could not tell me about prisons, work camps and executions cos she only knew a good life, the starvation and then China. In that aspect I was not really moved by her tale. A simple YA like tale. Where things were mentioned that we had already been told before. I also did not like how she totally dissed Mongolia and how they lived there. So that is worse than North Korea then?

So do not expect to learn more about North Korea. Maybe she was not critical of NA enough for me.

Conclusion:
BUT, it was still a good and short book. Interesting in those early NA parts and later the China parts that made me angry. They are just throwing them back into that hell.

Hardcover, 220 pages
Published August 15th 2014 by Libris förlag (first published March 8th 2012)
Memoir
Library



32 comments:

  1. Ah, too bad it didn't meet your expectations.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Bummer. Yeah, you'd think she'd have a lot of negative things to say about North Korea.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I get that she was indoctrinated, but she got out..many times

      Delete
  3. I read a memoir about bullying that left me feeling the same way. I think I expect those kinds of books to dig deeper.

    Karen @For What It's Worth

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. North Korea is bad, I wanna hear about it too. Now I can only think of the candy they got

      Delete
  4. It's too bad this book stayed more on the surface instead of really digging into the grittiness of her life! Thanks for sharing your thoughts though, I don't read many memoirs:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I read one once in a while, but I do want deep ones. I should have taken the one about someone escaping a prison camp

      Delete
  5. Sorry to hear that it stayed mostly surface

    ReplyDelete
  6. I don't read many memoirs, and this one doesn't sound like it's worth picking up.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I watched a documentary on North Korea awhile back and it was horrifying. I think perhaps it is good that this book didn't go into all the disturbing but then again, people need to know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For me it felt like if I had not known it is horrible there, then, I would not have learned a lot. Yes they starved, but people are starving all over the world. I want more of the totalitarian bs

      Delete
  8. This memoir sounds like it might give me nightmares! I can understand how she has conflicting feelings about NK.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nightmares..nah. maybe about eating too much candy

      Delete
  9. Yeah, I would like to know more especially the political set up and living conditions... NK sounds very dystopic to me, don't you think?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! I wanted that. Sure, she did not know it cos the first time they escaped she was 9. But I wanted more misery and the whole glorious leader bs

      Very dystopic yes

      Delete
  10. I am bummed that this didn't delve deeper.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I used to read a ton of memoirs, but have slowed down with them considerably over the years. Not sure if I'd read this, because it sounds like it needs more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It did make me want to read another one, one that was more miserable

      Delete
  12. It sounds like a good book but it's true that I wouldn't have expected that either

    ReplyDelete
  13. I don't read many memoirs but this sounds really interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Huh, I didn't know you were interested in the occasional memoire - how very cool :) This one sounds interesting, setting-wise. I'd like to learn much about either - or both - countries! Great review :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's cos I read so few of them ;)

      Delete
  15. It always feels off balance when a book isn't quite what you thought it would be. Looks like North Korea should have been a big part of this story to me, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It should have been called My years in China

      Delete
  16. I want to have a taste for non-fiction, too. Particularly memoirs/biographies. It's great that you're able to read outside of your normal fare.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It works if I found ones like these. I am am not gonna read about any celebrities

      Delete

Contributors

Copyright © 2008-2016 Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell All Rights Reserved. Proudly powered by Blogger

  © Blogger template Starry by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008 Modified by Lea

Back to TOP