A Remarkable Story of Faith, Family, and Forgiveness
For the first time, Euna Lee—the young wife, mother, and film editor detained in North Korea—tells a harrowing, but ultimately inspiring, story of survival and faith in one of the most isolated parts of the world.
On March 17, 2009, Lee and her Current TV colleague Laura Ling were working on a documentary about the desperate lives of North Koreans fleeing their homeland for a chance at freedom when they were violently apprehended by North Korean soldiers. For nearly five months they remained detained while friends and family in the United States were given little information about their status or conditions. For Lee, detention would prove especially harrowing. Imprisoned just miles from where she was born and where her parents still live in Seoul, South Korea, she was branded as a betrayer of her Korean blood by her North Korean captors. After representing herself in her trial before North Korea’s highest court, she received a sentence of 12 years of hard labor in the country’s notorious prison camps, leading her to fear she might not ever see her husband and daughter again.
The World Is Bigger Now draws us deep into Euna Lee’s life before and after this experience: what led to her arrival in North Korea, her efforts to survive the agonizing months of detainment, and how she and her fellow captive, Ling, were finally released thanks to the efforts of many individuals, including Bill Clinton. Lee explains in unforgettable detail what it was like to lose, and then miraculously regain, life as she knew it.
The World Is Bigger Now is the story of faith and love and Euna Lee’s personal conviction that God will sustain and protect us, even in our darkest hours.
©2010 Euna Lee, Lisa Dickey (P)2010 Random House Audio
I hesitated buying this book for several weeks because of Matt's nasty review. But only a bully would challenge how "incorrect" or correct is Euna Lee's portrayal of her own experience of captivity.
This book is more than a retrospective account of Ms. Lee's capture (on Chinese soil) by North Korean soldiers, and the subsequent interrogations, trial, sentencing, and eventual pardon. First-hand, contemporary accounts about life in the world's last remaining Stalinist regime are scarce. For those of us who have become fascinated with the DPRK after reading "Nothing to Envy," "The Aquariums of Pyongyang," "The Orphan Master's Son," and "Escape from Camp 14," this volume adds slivers of new information.
Ms. Lee is a high-achieving adult immigrant from Seoul who frankly expresses her deep Christian faith yet retains her traditional culture (Confucian) and who discloses how torn she is between her newly blossoming career and her role as a wife and mother. Admittedly shy, she nonetheless reveals her self questioning and her struggle to maintain mental and physical health as the long, lonely, boring, degrading days accumulate. Of course, she knows she had it easy in comparison to the brutality of the hard labor camp to which she is sentenced.
Ultimately, Matt's contemptuous review reveals more about him than this book. This volume is well worth your time. I am going to listen to it again.
I'm surprised that I'm the first reader to rate this book and write this review. I wanted to know more in what happen when they got caught in North Korea. Euna Lee side of her story is very powerful and spiritual. Her believe in God got her through her ordeal. She is very strong woman. I am looking forward at reading Laura Ling's story, "Somewhere Inside".
This book seems to be primarily the author's method of dealing with her own guilt in this situation. Cliche-ridden and over-dramatized, the author demonstrates a level of naiveté and foolishness that should embarrass anyone calling themselves a journalist. It doesn't appear that any research was done post-release to verify the bad information and incorrect assumptions of the author. I am sorry that I spent any time listening to this at all as the portrayal of North Korea and captivity is on such an elementary level in the few instances when it is correct, that the author's network should be held responsible for turning someone so unprepared out into the world and risk capture in the first place.
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