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The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector's Tale

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector's Tale.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Hyeonseo Lee(Author) David John(Contributor)

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

An extraordinary insight into life under one of the world’s most ruthless and secretive dictatorships – and the story of one woman’s terrifying struggle to avoid capture/repatriation and guide her family to freedom.

As a child growing up in North Korea, Hyeonseo Lee was one of millions trapped by a secretive and brutal communist regime. Her home on the border with China gave her some exposure to the world beyond the confines of the Hermit Kingdom and, as the famine of the 1990s struck, she began to wonder, question and to realise that she had been brainwashed her entire life. Given the repression, poverty and starvation she witnessed surely her country could not be, as she had been told “the best on the planet”?

Aged seventeen, she decided to escape North Korea. She could not have imagined that it would be twelve years before she was reunited with her family.

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Review Text

  • By EmmabBooks on 17 May 2017

    This is a memoir about growing up in North Korea, escaping (almost my mistake) and finally living in South Korea. Hyeonseo Lee tells of her upbringing in North Korea - a country she loved (though there were plenty of downsides!), and its contrast with life just across the river in China.Hyeonseo Lee's story is fascinating, telling of how she was indoctrinated by the regime, the irritation of the enforced communal activities and the horrors of the famine of 1996. Her story is told as she saw it at the age she was writing about, with some retrospective comments. One of her first impressions of China was "I'd come from a world of black and white into one of Technicolor". She describes the enormous differences in the two countries and her problems with terrible homesickness.A book with so much drama and terrifying action it is hard to put down. There are useful maps at the beginning of the book, and photos midway through. The writing style is easy to read, though much of the subject matter is, of course, very thought provoking.A great read, particularly so with what is going on in the world at the moment. So good I have already bought a friend a copy, and have recommended it to many others.

  • By H G on 26 May 2017

    I was made aware of this book after reading a short summary in The Sunday Times. This is the true account of the defection of a North Korean teenager and her remarkable journey through China and eventually into South Korea. The courage and strength she demonstrated was nothing short of astounding. She then went on to manage the escape of her family single handed. This in itself was a compelling account of selfless bravery and determination, but given that her life prior to these events had been severely restricted in terms of individual thought or deed under a brutal dictatorship, she achieved these feats singularly ill equipped to do so.

  • By S. Evans on 27 August 2017

    More staggering insights into the regime currently making world leaders jittery. As with Adam Johnson's harrowing novel "The Orphanmaster's Son" the abiding dark thought is how the people of this sad country still revere their loonie leader. Books like these should be compulsory reading in schools where Marxist regimes are held up as models of society. Kim's regime is not far removed.

  • By MothLady on 5 March 2017

    Hyeonseo's book is simultaneously upsetting and astonishing, providing a real glimpse into everyday life in North Korea from both a child's perspective, and an adult's. Her story really pulls you in. Amazed by her bravery and resourcefulness.

  • By joanna mann on 10 July 2017

    An incredible portrait into the life of an astonishing, brave young lady. North Korea is a faraway land that we all know about but also know very little about. I loved learning about the regime out there, the insight into their history & the heartship that Hyeonseo had to go through just to be able to live each day in a way most of us take for granted. Incredible story & with the beauty of seeing the photographs at the end brought the whole thing to life. Thankyou for sharing your life with us & wish you all the luck in the world for your much deserved future.

  • By someone with compassion on 10 March 2017

    The time is 3.20am and I have just finished reading it in one session, after starting this morning. I have to be up for work in a few hours but how can you put down a book like this?

  • By Marie Nestor on 29 June 2017

    I can't rate this highly enough. It was beautifully written and grabbed me from the start. From the start, the story is unbearably sad yet inspiring (even though I hate that word!). It was written in a very matter of fact way without excessive sentimentality and is honestly one of the most memorable and impactful books I have read in a long time. Apart from the fascinating insight into daily life in North Korea this is an extraordinary story of a family's survival against adversity. You will grow to love these characters like your own family and they will stay with you for a long time

  • By Anna Wilkins on 12 May 2017

    A gripping story of exceptional courage and grit it kept me on the edge of my seat I could not put it down.It was a tremendous and rare insight into the North Korean country its culture and oppressive regime from one of its own people.It could not have happened without the extreme generosity kindness and trust of certain people truly amazing so many miracles an up to date story very moving a must read.


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