In Order To Live tells a harrowing tale through the eyes of the girl who lived it. It is a gripping depiction of how unsurmountable pain and hardship can be overcome with a heart that is willing to fight to survive. Yeonmi Park is a person who has had to live through the unimaginable and has come out of the difficulties to rise above her circumstances.
The book helps outsiders to understand the hardships that are happening all around the world that they are unaware of. It definitely makes the reader forever grateful for simple things like food and clean water. For a young girl to live through the brutality, deaths, and even rapes that Yeonmi Park has lived through makes one reflect on how lucky we are to simply be alive.
Yeonmi Park was a happy little girl who was somewhat oblivious to the hardships around her in North Korea. That is until her father was imprisoned for selling items on the black market to try to feed his family. There was no trial and no judge, just prison. This is when young Yeonmi realized that life was not as good as she had thought.
Following her father’s imprisonment she had to endure hunger that brought her family close to starvation. She saw family members killed, others simply disappeared. She and her mother decided it was time to take fate into their own hands and they fled to China. The person hired to smuggle them there, sold them into sex slavery.
The book according to the NY Times, depicts these struggles and so many more than a young Yeonmi Park had to endure. She was a broken child who finally reached South Korea. When she arrived she decided to help others and get her story out. She has made public speeches on Youtube and has commenced a career as a human rights activist.
The book is meant to demonstrate the hardships that not only she, but others remaining in North Korea must endure. Yeonmi Park feels compelled to aid others in their struggle to find freedom. She never realized what true freedom was until she was able to escape and now wants to help others escape as well.