This fictitious memoir is written in the first person by a young North Korean woman named Chung-Cha (righteous daughter) to her daughter, Ae-Cha (beloved daughter). Each entry in this painful journal begins with related scripture, and follows with the details of Chung-Cha's life, arrest and imprisonment in one of the world's most notorious prison camps. Her journal begins in a village in North Korea in 1998 where Chung-Cha is the 12-year-old daughter of a Christian father whose faith endangered her entire family. Barely surviving in poverty is only the beginning of Chung-Cha's detailed description of her life after her arrest, imprisonment and persecution as the daughter of a Christian. The atrocities that were inflicted upon this young girl include lies, lack of food, abuse, torture, and being forced to live in her own filth amidst countless other prisoners. Life (if one can perceive it in that respect) under these conditions inflicted overwhelming physical, emotional and psychological effects.
This is a very difficult book to read, and difficult to find appropriate words to review. The content in this book is overwhelming to one who has never lived outside of freedom. My lack of understanding regarding the strength and courage it took for Chung Cha to survive the atrocities she suffered throughout her years of imprisonment restricts me. I cannot imagine the torture and horrifying conditions. Alana Terry's insight into the life of her characters is outstanding and meritorious! She has written a novel of epic proportions with tremendous impact, and without the use of graphic violence, language or description. An in-depth amount of research regarding the subject matter had to take place in order to create this intense and unforgettable memoir. This is an exceptionally well written narrative, one that I highly recommend and would award 5-plus stars!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.