But it happened to come up right at the end of our crazy couple weeks when Bo and our two extra girls were living with us (back here), and I’m not kidding around when I say those weeks felt like I was in some sort of a blur. Suddenly I realized I still had more than half of the book to read and I was two days away from book club.
And I finished up the last couple pages just as my first friend showed up at the front door.
The amount of fold-over pages generally illustrate how intrigued I was by each book I read…this one might take the cake on the most markings:
So many interesting things to think about!
All these lovely ladies showed up and the discussion was lively and interesting…at least that’s how it felt swirling around me. I really wasn’t myself and wasn’t overly prepared. Thank Heavens it was a book that lent itself to some serious contemplation and discussion without any question prompts from the group foggy leader.
At the end of the night, as I bid the last guest farewell, I realized I had some good black beans stuck in the front of my teeth. Nice.
That was the kind of night it was 🙂
So much to discuss yet such a blurry mind those days!
So it’s good for me to re-think it all through now that my brain is a little more functional.
Although there are too many to count, here are a few quotes that stood out to me:
“North Korea invites parody. We laugh at the excesses of the propaganda and the gullibility of the people. But consider that their indoctrination began in infancy, during the fourteen-hour days spent in factory day-care centers; that for the subsequent fifty years, every song, film, newspaper article, and billboard was designed to deify Kim Il-sung; that the country was hermetically sealed to keep out anything that might cast doubt on Kim Il-sung’s divinity. Who could possibly resist?”
“If North Koreans paused to contemplate the obvious inconsistencies and lies in what they were told, they would find themselves in a dangerous place. They didn’t have a choice. They couldn’t flee their country, depose their leadership, speak out, or protest. In order to fit in, the average citizen had to discipline himself not to think too much.”
“North Korean defectors often find it hard to settle down. It is not easy for somebody who’s escaped a totalitarian country to live in the free world. Defectors have to rediscover who they are in a world that offers endless possibilities. Choosing where to live, what to do, even which clothes to put on in the morning is tough enough for those of us accustomed to making choices; it can be utterly paralyzing for people who’ve had decisions made for them by the state their entire lives.”
It is a book that opened my eyes in ways they needed to be opened but was tragically sad to read. This is our world. It’s almost unfathomable to recognize that this little country is part of it.
Go read it! (Other reviews and information over HERE.)