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The Girl With Seven Names: Escape from North Korea Paperback – 26 March 2018
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- Publisher : HarperCollins GB (26 March 2018)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0007554850
- ISBN-13 : 978-0007554850
- Dimensions : 2.29 x 12.95 x 19.56 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 22,223 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
‘The most riveting TED talk ever’ Oprah
‘A sad and beautiful story of a girl who could not even keep her name, yet overcame all with the identity of what it is to be human’ Jang Jin-sung, author of ‘Dear Leader’
‘Stirring and brave … true, committed, unvarnished and honest. Lee has made her own life the keyhole to the present, inside and outside of North Korea’ Scotsman
‘Remarkable bravery fluently recounted’ Kirkus
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Top reviews from Australia
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Congratulations for your mastery of so many languages, including English.
I rate this one of the best books that I have read in a very long time.
Keep up the good work. Jeff
A story of one woman's upbringing in North Korea and how a combination of fortuitous self determined ideas and circumstance leads her to escape the ruthlessly woven web of North Korean oppression.
The five star rating reflects not so much the literary value (though it is well written), but the story itself and the courageous people it represents. Thank you very much to Hyeonseo Lee for sharing, and best wishes for the future and her ongoing work.
I was so proud to read of the critical assistance that the Australian Dick Stolp gave in assisting the family to escape from Laos when held there for escaping NK.
Top reviews from other countries
The story tells of her childhood living a relatively comfortable life by North Korean standards. However when famine strikes in the 1990s, she begins to notice what was happening to her people.
When she was 17 almost as an adventure she risks crossing to China across a frozen river. She then realises that if she returned it would cause massive problems for her family so she remains in China.
Slowly she also understands that her country is run by a brutal, totalitarian regime.
The book then tells of her struggles to adapt and survive in China living largely as an illegal immigrant and then her flight to South Korea.
Finally the book tells of her efforts to get her mother and brother to escape and live in South Korea too.
Hyeonseo obviously showed immense strength and bravery, overcoming often life-threatening challenges to enable herself, her mother and brother to escape.
However all three of them, her mother especially, struggle with living in South Korea and miss ‘home’.
I loved Hyeonseo’s descriptions of day to day life in N Korea and her accounts of her flight to freedom. However I did sometimes get frustrated with her choices and believe although she was strong and brave she was also amazingly lucky at times.
Nevertheless a brilliant and thought- provoking book. I would thoroughly recommend it.
Hyeonseo now speaks out about the darkness and repression of the North Korean regime around the world.
The author, obviously a bright enquiring adolescent grasped these differences and saw, literally on the other side of the river, that life could be different. And better. Therein starts the long, arduous journey to be free of the Korean tyranny. Read the book and find out how!
Much of the events and most of the speech will have been recreated from her memory but it reads well and keeps the reader wondering what the next step could possibly be.
That the author has found her feet and happiness, and has opened the west’s eyes to this extraordinary dictatorial régime is simply fascinating. I’m really glad I purchased this title.