It’s a thrilling story, with a lot of twists and turns. Although the ending is more or less known, I was still hooked from the first to the last page. Hyenseo’s journey was incredible, interesting and captivating. And I was really happy for her when I closed the book and put it back on the shelf.
The first part about her childhood in the hermit North Korea was quite relatable to me, as I came from Vietnam, another communist country with quite similar path and history. However, the situation between both countries are vastly different now, and I feel deeply grateful that our leaders took the unprecedented steps to open it up and welcome growth, investment and prosperity. Otherwise, who knows we may end up worse than North Korea, and I may not live until this day to read this book and write these lines.
I am sure there are a lot of other even more harrowing stories of North Korean escapees. In fact, there are thousands who try to escape the terror and starvation every year. But this story is intriguing due to it’s less than traditional path that the girl took to leave to South Korea, and the events on the way. It was a great mixture of chance, situation, luck, bravery, grit and sheer determination that led her not only to her own happy ending but also her family’s. And it makes me believe that there are miracles in life, and the end of suffering will be happiness.
It was a great read, the whole thing unfolds like an amazing adventure story, so dramatic it was unreal, and it would make for a wonderful movie, an eye opener for those who never experienced something like that before.