“Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea” by Barbara Demick
So… Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea. I know, I know: I’m always putting book reviews on here, even though it doesn’t really fit the theme to do so… But… But! This book sooooo totally fits! It really does! It could be its own soap opera!
Inside the covers of Nothing to Envy sit the stories of multiple people and, well, their ordinary lives in North Korea. There’s the diehard believer who keeps her loyalty while the world falls apart around her; there’s an orphan who scrapes his way to survival against the very logic of the system; there’s a doctor who doesn’t realize that scrounging for medicine in the hills outside of her hospital isn’t ordinary; and then there’s Mi-ran and Jun-sag, the star crossed lovers who have to fight fate to see each other.
Yup. This book even has that.
Jun-sang comes from a well-to-do background, even managing to work his way into a university in Pyongyang – quite an accomplished feat, and the best way to earn a promising future. But for years upon years, he’s had one thing secretly holding him in check: Mi-ran, the lower-class girl he can never be with. She becomes a teacher, thanks to his encouragement, but because of their circumstances, she winds up seeing the world for what it really is, while he lives in a lofty place of cushy comfort. They manage to carry on their romance for nine years, only going so far as holding hands in the dark, except for one night when everything starts to change…
See? See? That could totally be a drama! …And there are a whole bunch of stories in here to weave together an even bigger picture! Lots of drama, death, tragedy, misery… Everything you need for a good tear jerker.
So go check out Nothing to Envy! …You can get your daily dose of mega drama and claim you’re reading non-fiction and being all smart-like!