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Somewhere Inside: One Sister's Captivity in North Korea and the Other's Fight to Bring Her Home Hardcover – Bargain Price, May 18, 2010
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From the Back Cover
On March 17, 2009, Laura Ling and her colleague Euna Lee were working on a documentary about North Korean defectors who were fleeing the desperate conditions in their homeland. While filming on the Chinese–North Korean border, they were chased down by North Korean soldiers who violently apprehended them. Laura and Euna were charged with trespassing and "hostile acts," and imprisoned by Kim Jong Il's notoriously secretive Communist state. Kept totally apart, they endured months of interrogations and eventually a trial before North Korea's highest court. They were the first Americans ever to be sentenced to twelve years of hard labor in a prison camp in North Korea.
When news of the arrest reached Laura's sister, journalist Lisa Ling, she immediately began a campaign to get her sister released, one that led her from the State Department to the higher echelons of the media world and eventually to the White House.
Somewhere Inside reveals for the first time Laura's gripping account of what really happened on the river, her treatment at the hands of North Korean guards, and the deprivations and rounds of harrowing interrogations she endured. She speaks movingly about the emotional toll inflicted on her by her incarceration, including the measures she took to protect her sources and her fears that she might never see her family again.
Lisa writes about her unrelenting efforts to secure Laura and Euna's release. Offering insights into the vast media campaign spearheaded on the women's behalf, Lisa also takes us deep into the drama involving people at the highest levels of government, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Vice President Al Gore, Senator John Kerry, and Governor Bill Richardson—intense discussions that entailed strategically balancing the agendas and good intentions of the various players. She also describes her role in the back-and-forth between North Korea's demands and the dramatic rescue by former President Bill Clinton.
Though they were thousands of miles apart while Laura was in captivity, the Ling sisters' relationship became a way for the reclusive North Korean government to send messages to the United States government, which helped lead to Laura and Euna's eventual release.
Told in the sisters' alternating voices, Somewhere Inside is a timely, inspiring, and page-turning tale of survival set against the canvas of international politics that goes beyond the headlines to reveal the impact on lives engulfed by forces beyond their control. But it is also a window into the unique bond these two sisters have always shared, a bond that sustained them throughout the most horrifying ordeal of their lives.
Top Customer Reviews
I have a great deal of interest in anything that deals with North Korea. (NK) I followed this story closely when it unfolded. I also saw the Ling sisters give countless interviews about the events, during and after it occurred.
On the positive front: If you just look at this book on an emotional level as a tale of sisters bonding and rooting for Laura Ling to get out of the hellhole known as NK, you will love this book. It is well written and very detailed. Due to the frankness and the clear writing, you will feel yourself transported into the shoes of these sisters and feel as if you were going through these events yourself. Both sisters write well and as a result, there is a great amount of suspense and page-turning effect that makes you keep reading.
Both sisters are pretty honest. And so as a reader, you end up liking them and cheering for them. It is an emotional tale with a happy ending: when you either read about or see the video footage on the internet, seeing Laura and Euna getting off the plane and being reunited with their families will move you to tears. I mean if that doesn't get you misty eyed, there seriously is something wrong with your heart. I was so happy and joyed to see the women return and embrace their families. And the efforts of President Clinton, Vice-President Gore, President Obama, and everyone else should be commended for getting these two ladies home. They are daughters, wives, friends, loved ones, and in the case of Euna Lee, a mother. And so on a humanitarian heart level, this is a feel-good story and a survival tale.Read more ›
At first, I thought Laura's story was courageous, and on some level, I still do. However, after reading "Escape from Camp 14" about Shin Dong-hyuk's birth and internment inside a North Korean total-control camp, it completely changed my perspective of this work.
I know that Laura Ling was trying to do some good when she started her investigative piece by uncovering what North Korean women endured in order to escape to freedom. Some women were trafficked to China; others ended up in prostitution. But, as other reviewers have mentioned, Laura could and should have stayed on the Chinese side of the river to get the same film shots to tell the same story. No one would have known the difference.
I have to agree with other reviewers, that Laura Ling, by even hinting that her captors showed compassion toward her, has put them in extraordinary danger. Even if she doesn't mention them directly by name, the government knows who was assigned to guard Laura. Anyone --whether they're a North Korean soldier, regular citizen or so-called "traitors" of the government, is in peril if they even show tolerance to that totalitarian regime's enemies. The United States and Americans top the list.Read more ›
Euna Lee and Laura Ling had flown to Yanjin, China to do a documentary about North Koreans who were leaving their country and defecting to China to get away from the hard lives they had in North Korea. The city of Yanjin is very close to the North Korean border and the defectors had to go to the northernmost tip of North Korea and cross the Tumen River to get into China. Guards were patroling the area since they knew it was a popular spot for defectors. Euna and Laura had a guide and he encouraged them to just walk across the frozen Tumen River to the North Korean shore and assured them that nothing would happen. As I read I kept asking myself why the two women set foot on North Korean soil even for a few seconds when they knew how dangerous it was and the consequences if they were caught. The minute they stepped off the frozen river and onto North Korean soil, guards were after them and chased them back across the Tumen River and actually captured them on Chinese soil. The guards were abusive and violent, beating Laura and kicking her in the head which resulted in severe headaches for a long time after their capture.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I just finished reading Somewhere Inside by Laura & Lisa Ling. I learned so much from this book about the North Korean government. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Brandi
Laura Ling and her sister, Lisa Ling, tell the story of Laura's capture on Chinese soil by Korean police and her nearly five months in a Korean prison while waiting for Lisa to... Read morePublished 26 days ago by Pat Wingeier
Every time I read a book on NK it makes me so glad to be an American. NK exists only to feed the voracious ego and appetites of the evil Kim clan. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Stephen F. Brecht
This is one of my all-time favorite audiobooks I've ever listened to! Laura's story gives such a unique and rare look inside of North Korea. Read morePublished 4 months ago by JenLeigh712
Great read. Very informative. Lovely bond between sisters and family.Published 4 months ago by Artsy
The writing was a bit sophomoric, but after all, these sisters are the "talent", not the writers.Published 5 months ago by Srfotog
Chances are you know how this story ends. TV journalist Laura Ling illegally stepped foot on North Korean soil when she ventured to the China-North Korea border to report on the... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Cathryn Conroy
Great read, finished in about two days, well written and very interesting, the authors did a good job organizing the two sides of the storyPublished 7 months ago by Zach Taylor