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Publisher's Summary

Eunsun Kim was born in North Korea, one of the most secretive and oppressive countries in the modern world. As a child, Eunsun loved her country...despite her school field trips to public executions, daily self-criticism sessions, and the increasing gnaw of hunger as the countrywide famine escalated. By the time she was 11 years old, Eunsun's father and grandparents had died of starvation, and Eunsun too was in danger of starving. Finally her mother decided to escape North Korea with Eunsun and her sister, not knowing that they were embarking on a journey that would take them nine long years to complete. Told with grace and courage, her memoir is a riveting exposé of North Korea's totalitarian regime and, ultimately, a testament to the strength and resilience of the human spirit.
©2012 Éditions Michel Lafon (P)2015 Tantor
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Critic Reviews

"A sobering account of survival of the fittest in North Korea by a young woman on the run for nearly a decade." ( Kirkus)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Gillian on 03-25-16

Not Much New Here, but Courage and Hope to Spare

There are so many defector books out now that it takes quite a bit to distinguish one from the other. There are plenty of books about North Korea also.
If you're really, really interested in North Korea, I suggest "Nothing to Envy," here on Audible. If, however, you've not been introduced to stories from defectors, "A Thousand Miles to Freedom" is quite fine indeed. Eunsun is a strong, courageous young woman and her story deserves to be heard. You'll learn of the famine in the 90's, the terrifying reality of crossing the border, life in China (where things are supposed to be great), selling body, soul, and family for a chance, just a chance for a life without so much hunger and suffering.
And it's extraordinary to watch (or should I say, listen) as Eunsun realizes that she's lived a life of brainwashing, where no one is allowed to question or to think for themselves.
All along the way, her despair, her anger, her fear are palpable, and Emily Woo Zeller turns in a good performance.
If you've listened or are addicted to defector memoirs, there's really not much new here, but it's definitely worth it as a half-credit or Daily Deal. I don't mean that in a bad way, it's just that it's really fairly short and there are so many, many other memoirs out now. But Eunsun is admirable and what she and her family went through is harrowing and worth the listen. Pretty edge-of-your-seat stuff, with plenty of courage and hope to go around.

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91 of 99 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Ketia B. Wick on 09-26-15

A powerful and moving true life story

This book was exceptionally well written and narrated. Eunsun Kim has done an exceptional job in providing us with an honest and revealing true story of the horrors of The North Korean dictatorship and the struggles of the people of that country, whether they remain there, or whether they struggle to escape.

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23 of 26 people found this review helpful

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