The Girl with Seven Names

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Score: 5 0 5
5
239 Ratings

The Girl with Seven Names Book Summary


NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

An extraordinary insight into life under one of the world’s most ruthless and secretive dictatorships – and the story of one woman’s terrifying struggle to avoid capture/repatriation and guide her family to freedom.

As a child growing up in North Korea, Hyeonseo Lee was one of millions trapped by a secretive and brutal communist regime. Her home on the border with China gave her some exposure to the world beyond the confines of the Hermit Kingdom and, as the famine of the 1990s struck, she began to wonder, question and to realise that she had been brainwashed her entire life. Given the repression, poverty and starvation she witnessed surely her country could not be, as she had been told “the best on the planet”?

Aged seventeen, she decided to escape North Korea. She could not have imagined that it would be twelve years before she was reunited with her family.

Reviews

‘The most riveting TED talk ever’ Oprah

‘Harrowing’ Wired

‘A sad and beautiful story of a girl who could not even keep her name, yet overcame all with the identity of what it is to be human’ Jang Jin-sung, author of ‘Dear Leader’

‘Stirring and brave … true, committed, unvarnished and honest. Lee has made her own life the keyhole to the present, inside and outside of North Korea’ Scotsman

‘Remarkable bravery fluently recounted’ Kirkus

About the author

Hyeonseo Lee grew up in North Korea but escaped to China in 1997. In 2008, after more than 10 years there, she came to Seoul, South Korea, where she struggled to adjust to life in the bustling city. Recently graduated from Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, she has become a regular speaker on the international stage fostering human rights and awareness of the plight of North Koreans. She is an advocate for fellow refugees, even helping close relatives leave North Korea. Her TED talk has been viewed nearly 4m times. She is married to her American husband Brian Gleason and currently lives in South Korea.



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The Girl with Seven Names - Hyeonseo Lee Reviews

  • FABULOUS!!

    By Bojon wright
    5
    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I read from it every chance I got and finished it in a week. At times I laughed, at times I teared up, and at times I wanted to shout in anger at the injustice of it all. Ms Lee is such a very strong woman and I'm so glad she and her family found their freedom. I understand that hers is one of so many stories just like it and a lot with terrible endings. My heart breaks for them. I saw God moving in this story and I pray God moves mightily in regards to North Korea. Thank you for telling your story young lady. You're a real inspiration. God bless you.
  • Enlightening story

    By Zsdffgyy
    5
    I really enjoyed this book and it was an eye-opening book, which I could compare to situations that could come during Trump's Presidency.
  • Powerful

    By mylifeisviola
    5
    This book is profound. It reveals powerful insights into the mindsets and values of various cultures, and it fosters sympathy and understanding toward one another. Hyeonseo, thank you for having the courage to open up about your life, and the lives of your family. You’ve deeply impacted me.
  • Amazing!!!

    By kristabrown18
    5
    This was one of the best books I have ever read! I usually have a hard time finishing a book because I'll get bored in the middle. Not this book though! This was wonderful! A real page turner!
  • Phenomenal.

    By Karsenavery
    5
    We see the stories of Isis on the news, we hear threats of North Korean missile launches, we were taught about the 6 million Jews losing their lives to Nazi Germany, of slaves. But what this book does is turn the stories into a relatable living situation. Relatable not because we can relate or fathom but of how the author portrays it. She paints the landscape to the different countries, you can almost see the hustle and bustle of the city. When she is a teenager, every thought and action was definitely that of a young person but you grow older with her through her testimony. I have always been drawn to Human Rights stories but this one has a uniqueness to it. I love this book and 100% recommend it to anyone (above age 12-this book is a milder version of what some of the defector stories)
  • Amazing

    By Ladybug1404
    5
    It's hard for me to believe that there is a place in this modern world like North Korea. Her story is well written and a page turner. Since it is true you can not figure out the ending!
  • The Girl with Seven Names

    By Gracious Gerber
    5
    Riveting page turner about identity, country, family and freedom- a true story told by a North Korean defector and her obstacles to freedom. The reader is transported to a foreign dictatorship and a closed world of propaganda. This book is filled with nuance and history. Thank you for sharing your journey, Hyeonseo Lee.
  • Great

    By Side3Chase
    5
    Really great read, super interesting.
  • The girl with seven names

    By Banoosmom
    5
    A story of true bravery through the hardest of hardships and suffering. I am so glad I read this. I truly had no idea how horrible it is in North Korea for its people. The most gripping book I've read in a while. This story should reach more people. It would if it were a movie. I have been telling everyone about it and some will read it but I don't feel like they get the whole picture through my description. It needs to be hers.
  • Powerful

    By EBee PINK SLUG
    5
    Hyeonseo takes us through her life story so far, she has lived and survived more than most will ever even think possible. Her commitment to her family and the resoluteness of her character is inspiring. Her story is like hearing the quiet matter of fact whispers of a horror story that followed her to success. Thank you for your transparency and for the dignity you have shared even through the most difficult circumstances of your life.

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