A friend suggested I read Nothing To Envy after watching a documentary on North Korea, and I’m glad she did.

In 1997 I was making my first AOL screen name (JMLSprite) and learning how to chat with friends online. I was starting to be interested in the stock market because of an Economics project, and I was combing the newspaper at work to look for current events articles for class. I was baking cakes and learning how to make pie crusts.

So as I’m reading this book, the dichotomy of my experience and that of the North Koreans…I was shocked. It almost couldn’t comprehend that in the late 20th century a people group could be so brainwashed, so downtrodden, so…hungry.

The book follows six individuals who are from a northern city in North Korea. Things start out OK at first, but as the Soviet bloc breaks up, the noose tightens around North Korea. Then the hunger sets in, and so does disillusionment for these six people.

I found myself up several late nights as I got invested in the lives of the characters. I wanted them to get out so badly, but their lives just kept getting more and more complicated.

I loved this book. It was a great read and really made me think. Thanks for suggesting it, Karen!

I have the next book on hold at the library! It’s another suggestion from a friend. And its about…polygamy.