Eliza reviews In Order to Live

In Order to Live

Yeonmi Park

Random House

RRP $27.95

I was really interested to read this book as it tells the tale of a young North Korean defector and her family who have a harrowing journey to freedom in South Korea via China.

Certainly given the subject matter and what I understand of her struggles for survival from her television interviews, I assumed this tale would be deep, enthralling and perhaps a little difficult to read.

However whilst what she survived was difficult and certainly no situation I would like anyone to suffer, it felt to me that the story was told in a very matter of fact and clinical way.  In retrospect, no doubt when you have gone through such a difficult and personally taxing journey a way to heal yourself is to remain emotionally distant from the situation. This is reflected well in her writing which while personal is dispassionate. Her writing style also reflects her North Korean roots where speaking out is not encouraged and everyone lives under the constant threat of persecution from the regime.

Some people may find this off-putting but it doesn’t detract from the fact what she and her family went through in their search for freedom, from a regime where the state matters more than the very people it protects, was harrowing and exploitative. It certainly gives you fresh eyes in considering the difficulties that all refugees face who are seeking the very same freedom we take for granted.

From the Publishers Website:

About the Author:

Yeonmi Park is a human rights activist who was born in North Korea.

About Eliza Chapman

Eliza Chapman
Eliza Chapman is the Sales Manager for Eldernet and enjoys assisting businesses with promoting their services via the Eldernet and Where from Here reference handbooks. She is an avid investigator and researcher especially interested in psychology. She has two fur-babies and a son named Isaac – or “he who laughs”, which he frequently does. She has a wonderful supportive partner who is a teacher and they often enjoy outdoor pursuits together. One of her passions is shoes, much like Emelda Marcos.