I’ve been using my Audible subscription to listen books that I wouldn’t normally choose to read, in the car or on the treadmill, and the memoir of Yeonmi Park’s life so far was definitely like nothing i’ve read before.
In Order To Live is Yeonmi’s account of being born under the Kim dictatorship of North Korea, the famine and brainwashing of it’s people, and it’s radical laws which, until she defected, were seen as normal to her. It follows Yeonmi, and her mother’s, escape to China when she just was 13, only to fall into the hands of traffickers and gangsters who seperated and sold them into forced marriages.
I found the insight into life in North Korea fascinating and a real eye opener, hearing from someone who has lived through it and then come out the other side – and how difficult the adaption to living in a free world can be. Yeonmi’s story is full of terrible tragedy and suffering, but ultimately is the story of a very determined young girl who wasn’t prepared to a accept that was how her life would be – and is now trying to highlight the struggle in the hope that she can help the millions of North Koreans still under the regime.
Definitely worth reading/listening to this book – if only to appreciate how much we take our “freedom” for granted, and to be inspired by this courageous young woman who is now seen as a personal enemy by Kim Jong-un.
“But Kim Jong-un is not a joke to me. He was a God I had to worship every day. He is a murderer. Making fun of dictators cannot be enough. Why is it so funny?”
Watch this speech from 2014 if you want a insight before reading: