Book review: The girl with seven names

I rarely read books more than once but this one I’ve read 3 times. That’s because the writing is so good and the story so jaw dropping it’s unbelievable that it’s based on a true story. If you’ve never read any literature about escaping from North Korea you need to read this book.

I don’t want to give away any spoilers so I’ll just give a general outline. The book tells the story of how a young girl escapes from North Korea and eventually makes it into South Korea after having to live life on the run, taking on pseudonyms to avoid being tracked down and sent back, thus the seven names.

But its not merely the account of the escape which is of course fascinating. Its a very personal story of her family, living and surviving under the communist regime and what basically amounts to the cult of the ruling Kim family. I learnt a lot about what it means to live under this oppressive regime and about the politics that govern that part of the world.

The book is very well written and reads like an adventure story except in this case its very real. I googled the writer after I was done reading and listened to talks she’s given just to confirm that this could be something that actually happened.

The first time I finished reading the book I was like woah what did I just read? And I went right back to the beginning and re-read it immediately. Which I have never done before.

Its a great read! 5/5 stars.

 

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