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
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"Really great book - Sadly lots of religious jargon"
I believe this story is a one-off for this author so I likely won't look any further.
The sentencing itself almost brought me to tears.
Honestly, I would have liked to heard more about North Korea itself.
"Much more than "talk therapy""
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.
"Delivers on what's promised. Read full title."
The beginning, where we learn about the experiences of the North Koreans who've made it to China. Frankly, this was much more interesting then the arrest, captivity, trial, and release of the two Americans.
If you want to learn about North Korea, there are better books -- Nothing to Envy and The Aquariums of Pyongyang. Here, you learn a lot about Euna Lee -- her childhood, her family, her faith -- and not so much about North Korea. I'd prefer that it were reversed, but that's on me. The book delivers what it advertises. When it says it's "a story about faith, family, and forgiveness" it's not kidding. If, like me, you're an atheist, you'll do a bit of eye rolling all the times God is mentioned.
"Amazing story, had to keep listening"
Never read the print version but the audio version was great.
I haven't read or listened to many non fiction/memoir type stories so can't really say.
Her expressions seemed to be spot on.
Yes, I only paused this book a couple times and spent a day off just listening straight through while doing chores.
I remember the story of these 2 female journalists being captured by North Korea and their subsequent release in the news. I was always curious as to what their experience was "behind bars". I don't recall them having any tv interviews afterwards and they wanted to bring more attention to the North Korean refugees instead. This book was surprisingly exciting to listen to from beginning to end. I'm not Christian but the repeated talks of her family and of her devotion to God were not at all a negative to this book.
I was touched by the story. You don't know what life may throw your way but finding a way to overcome any obstacle is main in this story. Being captive in North Korea is one big obstacle. I found it touching the way Euna Lee talked about her Daughter and Husband constantly. You could tell that she had so much love for the both of them and one of her biggest Loves was the one with God. She stated in the book that she promised God to speak about her ordeal at church. This was hard for her because she is an introvert. Wow, I loved this book.
Knowing when something was up, when her favorite Guard was back to see her and granted some requests.
The Main Character Euna Lee
This book made me cry especially when she talked about the love she has for her daughter.
"Great story from an amazing woman."
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".
"Talk therapy for the author"
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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