Thursday, March 31, 2011

The World Is Bigger Now

Euna Lee was thrust into the spotlight in 2009 when she and fellow journalist Laura Ling were captured by the North Koreans and held captive. I remember watching this story unfold on TV and rejoiced in watching their tearful reunion with their families months later.

Lee has written about her experience in The World Is Bigger Now, chronicling what led her and Ling to take this trip - the need to share the story of North Koreans who had defected- and what happened that led to their capture by the North Koreans and her months in detainment.

While I have seen the version that was on the television news, I enjoyed reading Lee's firsthand account of these events. Knowing that the resolution is a happy one for both Lee and Ling made the story easier to read as well. Lee is very honest in her writing, sharing her faith in God and her own struggles and doubts about her faith after she was captured. The North Koreans were adept in their questioning, and Lee also reveals that despite the knowledge of this, she became angry at Ling, who her captors insisted was telling them more, and was incriminating Lee. Although Lee knew that her captors were trying to drive a wedge between her and Ling, months of questioning certainly played with her mind and emotions. Throughout this book Lee shares her desperation to return to her husband, Michael and young daughter, Hana, fearing that she is missing Hana's childhood. And, Lee is also careful about sharing that despite what happened to her, many of the North Koreans she came in contact with were not bad people. Her captivity allowed her a chance to see things from a different perspective and realize that much of what we believe about a different country is the result of what is seen on the news, not what we have seen or experienced firsthand.

This memoir was instantly easy to read, drawing me in from the first page. Lee was easy to identify with, and I felt as though the two of us could sit and talk and become friends. Although not classified a religious book, this is an inspirational story that certainly addresses issues of faith and belief in God.

1 comment:

Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

This is interesting. The cover really caught my eye for some reason. Thanks for sharing!