- Author Hyeonseo Lee
I wasn’t aware of the TED talk that brought the author into the public, but having read the book, I’m keen to seek it out. It’s an incredible tale of bravery amidst chaos, of losing your identity in the search for a better life, and of family loyalties and impossible choices. It’s really a heart-wrenching story from start to finish - that there are countries in the world like this, that those looking for help get ripped off at every turn, and that the end result isn’t a wonderful happy ending but just another step along a journey of huge adjustment.
There are moments in the book of greatness though, of uplifting spirit. The kindness of complete strangers, whether it is in not telling tales, or giving money when it’s most needed, is always wonderful to read about.
It’s a difficult read but it’s a story that ends with optimism, and considering the events that unfold during the telling of it, that’s quite a feat of human endurance.