Home Feed
Home
Search
Search
Add Review, Blurb, Quote
Add
Activity
Activity
Profile
Profile
In Order to Live
In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom | Yeonmi Park
Yeonmi Park has told the harrowing story of her escape from North Korea as a child many times, but never before has she revealed the most intimate and devastating details of the repressive society she was raised in and the enormous price she paid to escape. Parks family was loving and close-knit, but life in North Korea was brutal, practically medieval. Park would regularly go without food and was made to believe that, Kim Jong Il, the countrys dictator, could read her mind. After her father was imprisoned and tortured by the regime for trading on the black-market, a risk he took in order to provide for his wife and two young daughters, Yeonmi and her family were branded as criminals and forced to the cruel margins of North Korean society. With thirteen-year-old Park suffering from a botched appendectomy and weighing a mere sixty pounds, she and her mother were smuggled across the border into China. I wasnt dreaming of freedom when I escaped from North Korea. I didnt even know what it meant to be free. All I knew was that if my family stayed behind, we would probably diefrom starvation, from disease, from the inhuman conditions of a prison labor camp. The hunger had become unbearable; I was willing to risk my life for the promise of a bowl of rice. But there was more to our journey than our own survival. My mother and I were searching for my older sister, Eunmi, who had left for China a few days earlier and had not been heard from since. Park knew the journey would be difficult, but could not have imagined the extent of the hardship to come. Those years in China cost Park her childhood, and nearly her life. By the time she and her mother made their way to South Korea two years later, her father was dead and her sister was still missing. Before now, only her mother knew what really happened between the time they crossed the Yalu river into China and when they followed the stars through the frigid Gobi Desert to freedom. As she writes, I convinced myself that a lot of what I had experienced never happened. I taught myself to forget the rest. In In Order to Live, Park shines a light not just into the darkest corners of life in North Korea, describing the deprivation and deception she endured and which millions of North Korean people continue to endure to this day, but also onto her own most painful and difficult memories. She tells with bravery and dignity for the first time the story of how she and her mother were betrayed and sold into sexual slavery in China and forced to suffer terrible psychological and physical hardship before they finally made their way to Seoul, South Koreaand to freedom. Still in her early twenties, Yeonmi Park has lived through experiences that few people of any age will ever knowand most people would never recover from. Park confronts her past with a startling resilience, refusing to be defeated or defined by the circumstances of her former life in North Korea and China. In spite of everything, she has never stopped being proud of where she is from, and never stopped striving for a better life. Indeed, today she is a human rights activist working determinedly to bring attention to the oppression taking place in her home country. Parks testimony is rare, edifying, and terribly important, and the story she tells in In Order to Live is heartbreaking and unimaginable, but never without hope. Her voice is riveting and dignified. This is the human spirit at its most indomitable.
Amazon Indiebound Barnes and Noble WorldCat Goodreads LibraryThing
review
ScientistSam
post image
Pickpick

This book is a fraught and frank account of one young woman's childhood in North Korea, escape to China only to be trafficked, and eventual escape to South Korea. It focuses more on her escape and time in the hands of traffickers, but every step of her story is something she stands as witness to. We can't fight for justice if we're not aware of the injustices, and Park has bravely shared her story in order to shed a light in this darkness.
4⭐

50 likes2 stack adds
review
Centique
post image
Pickpick

My elderly father has been frail for the last few years and I keep him supplied with books. After a few years of war books, mountaineering books, sea faring books, I‘ve started pushing him a little out of his comfort zone. He turned it back on me by insisting I read this book straight after he finished!
I‘m so glad I did. I had heard Yeonmi‘s speech and been so moved but there is so much more in this book. ⬇️

Centique So much more to understand about dictatorship and brainwashing and about how market forces come to play in human misery. Well written and a page turner as well as heart breaking. 💔 8mo
Reggie My dad who is all about war, horror, and gore (I don‘t want to get into it, but has a chip on his shoulder against Oprah, lol) surprised the hell outta me when he read An American Marriage and liked it. This is cool. And sounds good. 8mo
Centique @Reggie that‘s great! Good on him 😊 Mine won‘t read fiction unfortunately. And I don‘t think he knows who Oprah is. 😂😂 8mo
96 likes2 stack adds3 comments
review
readtheworld
post image
Pickpick

Just finished this memoir on audio. I‘ve read a few other books about North Korea (Without You There Is No Us, Nothing to Envy) and this one fills in another heartbreaking perspective on the difficulty and danger in escaping. Much of the book deals with the years after Park and her mother crossed the border to China and were trafficked as wives for Chinese men. Trigger warnings apply.

#24in48 #memoir #audiobook #northkorea

59 likes4 stack adds
blurb
readtheworld
post image

Just hit 10 hours for #24in48. My day tomorrow will be much busier so I‘m trying to get as much reading in tonight as I can. I keep switching between this audiobook and The Book of Essie in print — both are such page-turners.

#24in48 #readathon #audiobook #memoir #northkorea #hour10 #libby

60 likes1 stack add
blurb
AishReads
post image

When #JennaFischer A.K.A #PamBeesly picks out your next book. I got this instantly off the #libby app and I‘m hooked! Especially since I‘m in the process of trying to go move to South Korea to be with my husband. #YeonmiPark is three years younger than me but has endured more than I can imagine. I have to keep reminding myself that this isn‘t a story of the past but of the present!

4 likes1 stack add
blurb
Martta
post image

My North Korea themed books. I've read already two this year and these remain still unread.

Almost all of my books are now back to the shelves. Such a tough work! 😂

blurb
LondElle89
post image

Just started this today and I'm hooked! It's been a while since I've been captivated from a book. This firsthand account of being a North Korean defector is fascinating and heartbreaking at the same time. I think will definitely be a 2018 favourite.

12 likes1 stack add
review
BookishRedhead
post image
Pickpick

Touching every time I read it. Definitely a favourite.
Just as heartbreaking as the first time I read it.
Re-reading forever

blurb
BookishRedhead
post image

Two women who I admire. Both stories are touching and heartbreaking but they give you a feel of if they can go through that then you can go through anything.

review
Susanbones
post image
Pickpick

OMG. Intense book. I 👏🏻 could 👏🏻 not 👏🏻 put 👏🏻 it👏🏻 down 👏🏻. Very easy flow and easy to read despite the intensity of the topics discussed. Go read this like right at this moment!

blurb
StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego
post image

#MarchInBooks #photochallenge @maich

#autobiography

"A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom"

Secretive societies fascinate me. ??

89 likes6 stack adds
quote
Stellina
post image

I‘m really looking forward to reading this book. I hear it‘s an emotional and a story which is painfully difficult to read at times, but so worth it.

Susanbones Beautifully written book. I loved it and finished it in a little over a day. ❤️ 2y
6 likes2 stack adds1 comment
review
NatalieJess07
Pickpick

Life changing. Nothing else fits this book and her story.

quote
Yellowpigeon
post image

Both of her grandparents lost limbs in separate accidents when they were young. They both decided to scope out the rehab facilities for similarly injured people for potential mates. Love her grandmother's "Love at first site"

Suet624 Wow!!! 2y
35 likes1 comment
blurb
Conservio
post image

Powerful quote... I always knew North Korea was BAD... but Yeonmi Park didn‘t even understand the concept of a favorite color.
#speechless #northkorea #memoir

9 likes1 stack add
blurb
Conservio
post image

Some of my reading companions. #puppiesoflitsy

BookMaven407 🐶💕 2y
7 likes1 comment
blurb
Conservio
post image

Reading this while the husband watches the #huskers. #gobigred #procrastination

blurb
Kristy_K
post image

One of my favorite non-fiction reads this year is on sale on the Kindle and Nook!

I️t is harrowing and heartbreaking, but Park‘s strength and courage is amazing.

https://www.amazon.com/Order-Live-Korean-Journey-Freedom-ebook/dp/B00SI0B5EY?_bb...

#northkorea #memoir #biography

ClairesReads So good! 2y
new2kindle Just picked this up on kindles deal of the day for 99p bargain 2y
Kristy_K @new2kindle It‘s an amazing book. Enjoy! 2y
new2kindle @Kristy_K North Korea is very relevant at the moment so this should be an interesting read. Thanks for the reply 👍 2y
40 likes4 comments
blurb
Conservio
post image

Library haul. 1) looks like a cute YA 2) a non fiction about a woman's escape from North Korea 3) a TBR. #toomanybooks #library #YA

blurb
youneverarrived
post image

I don‘t think I would have ever thought about using audio books if it wasn‘t for Litsy. I decided to give the free audible trial a go a few months ago and now it‘s my new favourite thing. The only problem is the books are generally expensive but I‘ve just been using my monthly credit to listen. #lookwhatyoumademedo but in the nicest way 😂😊#uncannyoctober

blurb
llwheeler
post image

Welp I can hardly ever resist the buy 3 get the 4th free sales at Chapters, so... #bookhaul! One for my nephew for thanksgiving (adorable 😍) , and three for me. The Nadia Hashimi books because I really enjoyed A House Without Windows. The Yeonmi Park memoir because I read it a while ago from the library and decided it was an important enough read that I needed my own copy.

janeycanuck The Pearl That Broke Its Shell is wonderful. I haven't read her others yet but both are on my TBR. Enjoy!! 2y
llwheeler @janeycanuck I might read that one first then, thanks ☺ A House Without Windows was so good, I recommend it. 2y
13 likes1 stack add2 comments
review
Gina
post image
Pickpick

This book is an honest and brutal look at the reality inside North Korea. It talks bout the overlooked human trafficking happening on China's boarder completely taking advantage of these people in desperate need. It is a must read to fully comprehend the atrocities playing out across the ocean from us.

blurb
Gina
post image

I love walking with her through her self discovery.

blurb
Gina
post image

Well that's interesting...

5 likes1 stack add
blurb
Gina
post image

Oh I like that...

review
Kristy_K
post image
Pickpick

I teared up many times while reading this. I cannot fully comprehend the evils in this world &how people like Park not only survive it, but thrive afterwards.

I don't know much about North Korea outside of what I see on the news. This look at the way of life there is truly terrifying. Equally as scary are the ways people take advantage of &treat the North Koreans trying to escape. Park went through some truly horrific &heartbreaking events. 5⭐️s

58 likes2 stack adds
blurb
BookishRedhead
post image

Tempted to Re-read

sprainedbrain This looks really good. Stacked! 2y
BookishRedhead @sprainedbrain it's amazing. Very touching too 2y
7 likes1 stack add2 comments
blurb
Martta
post image

Found these yesterday!

DeeLew I know why the caged bird sings. 😍💕 2y
17 likes1 comment
review
cariashley
post image
Pickpick

What a harrowing but deeply important story about life in North Korea and what this woman went through to escape it. Not to mention timely. Fair warning, parts of this are very, very hard to read. The audio was excellent.

Libby1 Excellent book. It puts at the forefront the terrible plight of the ordinary people of North Korea. 2y
LeeRHarry This was such a good read - was just thinking about it today due to current events. 2y
cariashley @Libby1 @LeeRHarry I know. It's one of those books that staggers you, showing how strong people can be in the face of adversity. 2y
RaimeyGallant Sounds interesting! 2y
55 likes2 stack adds4 comments
review
cristiana_de_sousa
post image
Pickpick

Que história mais poderosa! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

quote
spilledinklove

When you have so little, just the smallest thing can make you happy

review
Kyliejohood
Pickpick

Wow. I am so inspired. This author has strengthened my resolve that we must fight oppression. And if everyone stands silent who will be left to fight? A moving story that will leave you stunned by your privilege. Love the line "we all have our own deserts to cross". 4 stars only because the audiobook reader too awhile to get used to!

blurb
BookishRedhead
post image

Two of the best biographies about escaping North Korea I have ever read

review
Chelsibno
post image
Pickpick

Park's memoir is a heartbreakingly honest work. The struggles that Park and her family went through brought me to tears as I listened. Park's drive to survive and succeed resonated with me, especially her emphasis on education in later chapters. I hadn't known much about North Korea and appreciated learning more about life there. Eji Kim did a great job narrating. Her accented speech helped to capture Park's voice. #2017Book23 #audiobook #memoir

blurb
Chelsibno
post image

The high school library where I'm doing my practicum has its own 2017 reading challenge that I'm taking part in. I've already got three of these covered. I was a bit on the fence about whether or not super hero titles counted under "books with someone's name in the title," but I finally decided not to count those. #readingchallenge #2017readingchallenge

quote
bookdrunkard78
post image

Just sitting here realizing my life isn't so bad.

review
MelanieMefford
Pickpick

Loved it!!

blurb
MelanieMefford
post image

This book is AMAZING. I thought I had a pretty good idea of what went on in North Korea, but wow.

8 likes2 stack adds
blurb
MelanieMefford
post image

I'm excited about my next pick. I get so many of my book picks from All the Books! Podcast with Liberty and Rebecca. LOVE those two ladies!

blurb
BellaBookNook
post image

I've finally got my hands on this book. Such a good read so far but definitely 💔!

9 likes1 stack add
blurb
Onlaughterandliteracy
post image

Not even close to fully awake yet, but can't wait to dive into some great books this weekend! #24in48 #shelfie

review
Libby1
post image
Pickpick

4.5/5 ⭐

North Korea is like an alien planet. It is difficult to fathom that such a society can exist.

This book is not only an excellent story but also an important one.

It is written in an accessible style that engages the reader.

#ReadDiverseBooks

43 likes6 stack adds
quote
Libby1
post image

"Once I was home, all I did was read. I inhaled books like other people breathe oxygen. I didn't just read for knowledge or pleasure; I read to live."

LauraBeth 🙋 3y
41 likes1 stack add1 comment
quote
Libby1
post image

"...Spring is when most people died of starvation..."

emilyhaldi Very sad... I have a fascination with books about North Korea, will add this to my list! 3y
26 likes1 stack add1 comment
quote
Libby1
post image

Wow.

Kristy_K This is on my #tbr for next year! This quote makes it look promising. 3y
ValerieAndBooks My son's HS had this as required summer reading for all the students, and after he read it, told me I should too. Very good. 3y
43 likes2 stack adds2 comments
quote
Libby1
post image

Yikes.

Laura317 😳😳😳 3y
ValerieAndBooks I remember this passage 😨! 3y
36 likes1 stack add2 comments
blurb
RealLifeReading
post image

I decided to eat away my unhappiness in the form of this apple tart from Trader Joe's. But it also makes me feel bad because I'm reading about the famine in North Korea in the 90s where, "during the good times, a family meal would consist of rice, kimchi, some kind of beans and seaweed soup".

HijackMe I know the feeling, I always felt bad when I was cooking and listened to "Nothing to envy" (which I absolutely recommend) ? 3y
TheBookAddict I unfortunately had to go to work, even though I woke up not wanting to get out of bed and face this day. Nonetheless, responsibilities beckoned me therefore I decided to wear black, since I'm in mourning. --Might I suggest that you read or listen to 3y
JEMoutrageous I too wore all black, since I am in mourning. Then without thinking, I threw on a red sweater and scarf when I walked out the door for work. I annoyed myself. 3y
See All 12 Comments
kspenmoll With all of you! 3y
TheLibrarian Eating makes everything a little better! I normally wear all black so no one could tell the difference. 3y
Dragon Yum 3y
RealLifeReading @HijackMe oh yes that was such a good book 3y
RealLifeReading @TheBookAddict thanks for the book recommendation. I haven't seen that one yet 3y
RealLifeReading @TheLibrarian eating definitely made things a bit better 3y
TheBookAddict @RealLifeReading you're welcome. I listened to the audio and it was amazing. 3y
140 likes7 stack adds12 comments
blurb
RealLifeReading
post image

#photoadaynov16 day 9: #bookandbrew Technically my third brew of the day after a black tea and a coffee, now I'm having a tiekuanyin. I gave up on the internet last night, after feeling sickened by it all and settled down with a book. Today, waking up to the horrendous outcome I wanted to rant and rage but instead hugged my kids extra tight. #nonficnov

Ericmanciniwriter Agreed - waking up with a 2 and 3 year old who don't know what's going on was really nice 3y
ApoptyGina69 That's my favorite tea! It means "iron goddess of the mountain" something to that effect, doesn't it? I only saw it once in English. 3y
RealLifeReading @Eamann exactly. To them it's just another happy day! 3y
See All 7 Comments
RealLifeReading @ApoptyGina69 i always thought it was an unusual name for a tea as Kuan Yin is actually the Goddess of Mercy so prob would be Iron Goddess, yes! 3y
readinginthedark I have to keep reminding myself not to ruin my son's day! He did make me feel better by starting a conversation with me about how more girls should play hockey. 😊I'm so proud. They're the real future. 3y
UwannaPublishme 🤗👍🏻 3y
kspenmoll Tough day to get through. Election results, memorial service for my mom, a son in shock & unable to cope, walking, cleaning, reading positive ideas - all helping my insides. Now for wine & an escapist book. Thx for looking for the light- “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
― Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches
3y
127 likes5 stack adds7 comments