The World Is Bigger Now: An American Journalist's Release from Captivity in North Korea . . . A Remarkable Story of Faith, Family, and Forgiveness
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The World Is Bigger Now: An American Journalist's Release from Captivity in North Korea . . . A Remarkable Story of Faith, Family, and Forgiveness

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  278 ratings  ·  57 reviews
For the first time, Euna Lee—the young wife, mother, and film editor detained in North Korea—tells a harrowing, but ultimately inspiring, story of survival and faith in one of the most isolated parts of the world.

On March 17, 2009, Lee and her Current TV colleague Laura Ling were working on a documentary about the desperate lives of North Koreans fleeing their homeland fo...more
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Published by Random House, Inc. (first published January 1st 2010)
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Jenny
A few months ago I reviewed Somewhere Inside by Laura Ling and Lisa Ling about Laura's captivity in North Korea for five months. Euna Lee was the film editor also on that trip who was captured as well. I won't recap the whole story or the tid bits I included about North Korea, but it's really interesting so please refer to the linked review above and go read that first!

But back to this review, I definitely think The World is Bigger Now is absolutely worth reading even if you've already read the...more
Louise
Euna Lee chronicles the events that resulted in her captivity in North Korea, her experience as a captive and her ultimate release. While there are good and important parts in this book, I felt too much space was devoted to never sent letters home, text relating to missing/loving family, prayers and guilt feelings. These could might comprise one third of the book.

Lee, appropriately begins with her life. She tells of her family and how she came to be a Current TV journalist. The next part on the...more
Eileen Souza
Previously this year, I read Somewhere Inside, by Laura and Lisa Ling, and I wanted to read this book to see how (if at all) Euna Lee was treated because she is South Korean.

Though there were similarities to their stories, their experiences were quite different. It definitely seemed as though Euna had harsher treatment, though only to a degree. It was interesting that she spent the majority of her captivity locked in her head whereas Laura was constantly trying to find a way to communicate and...more
Jami
I'd probably give this about 2.5 stars. I was very intrigued by the story of journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling. The women were captured in North Korea while filming a documentary and spent months imprisoned.

Sadly, this book just wasn't written very well. Lee may be a great documentary maker, but I don't think she was meant to write books . . . even with a co-writer. The story was kind of boring. I'm sure it was difficult to remember all the details of things that happened during such a stress-...more
Alisa
A personal account of the two American reporters who were captured and detained in North Korea in 2009. Three weeks after President Clinton flew to North Korea and brought Euna Lee and Laura Ling back home to L.A., my family and I moved to South Korea. I had vaguely remembered hearing about their capture & detainment on the news, so when I saw this book at the library, I was intrigued. I ended up really enjoying it. Euna's faith was inspiring, as well as her renewed dedication to be a better...more
Jodi
I received this book in the mail Friday and have already read it. The author did a wonderful job of telling her story. My heart broke for her and her family. She did a great job of making the story easy to follow whether you knew much about North Korea or not. Although the author doesn't go into alot of the background she shares enough to paint a clear picture.
Overall a great story of faith, hope, family, and courage.
Cynthia Vissers
A must read after "Somewhere Inside" by the Ling sisters. Really give you an inside look into North Korea.
Josie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Charlie
I'm 18% into this now (I know that looks strange but that's what the Kindle tells me - no pint in rounding off just to seem normal) and I may not be able to finish it.

I started it because I became so interested in North Korea after reading the excellent "Nothing to Envy". This book is about a Korean-American documentary film maker who was captured and imprisoned in NK while shooting a film about North Koreans who escaped to China.

The writing is quite pedestrian and the author wears her Christian...more
Kurt
This heartfelt and honest memoir of a journalist taken captive in North Korea is a gentle and compelling work that I recommend.

A few months ago, I read Somewhere Inside, which covers the same events as this book, but from the perspective of Laura Ling (Lee’s co-defendant) and Lisa Ling (Laura’s sister, who worked from the States to bring Lee and Ling home). In that book, Lee played a small role, as a quiet co-worker and translator, and the reader didn’t get much insight into who Lee was. While L...more
Alyce (At Home With Books)
The World is Bigger Now is Euna Lee’s recollection of her time spent imprisoned in North Korea, and the story of how she ended up there. Euna was working on a documentary that told the stories of escapees from North Korea, many of whom were in hiding in China (because China sends them back to North Korea if they are caught).

To me the most fascinating parts of this book were the stories of those refugees (which were a small section of the book). The author relates her experiences interviewing the...more
Kristi
Good book and a gut wrenching story. I was only a little bit disappointed that she didn't write more about the history of North and South Korea. Growing up in South Korea, she had some very interesting insights about the conflict and tension between the two countries (especially after being captured) and I would have loved more. She did however spend a good amount of the beginning of the book focused on the documentary she and Laura Ling were working on when they were captured. It was to be abou...more
Kathleen Hagen
The World is Bigger Now: An American Journalist’s Release from Captivity in North Korea, by Euna Lee, with Lisa Dickey, narrated by Janet Song, produced by Random House Audio, downloaded from audible.com.

This is Euna Lee’s account of the five months she and her colleague, Laura Ling, spent in captivity in North Korea. For Euna, this was harrowing for a variety of reasons. She thought that she might never see her daughter, Hanna, or at least not until she was grown. Euna’s parents still lived in...more
Cynthia Sillitoe
As a lot of reviewers have said, this is a very different book than its counterpart. I think what made Somewhere Inside so compelling was the dual narrative of the Ling sisters--what happened in the US while what was happening in North Korea. Euna Lee's narrative has a kind of reserved quality to it. I don't know if it's personality or cultural or what. It's not that it's without the same emotions, but I felt more like I was an observer and less like I was there. I guess I feel like this was a s...more
Kelly Hager
Euna Lee was one of two journalists imprisoned in North Korea (the other was Laura Ling). Euna and Laura worked for a TV station and were working on a story on people trying to escape from North Korea. They got too close to the border and were arrested and detained for months.

This book is Euna’s account of what happened. It’s a story of faith in hard circumstances. Throughout her ordeal, Euna kept a relationship with God and it is, I think, a realistic one. I’m pretty sure under similar circumst...more
Estelle
I didn't really enjoy this book, in fact I found it to be a bit frustrating. After having read the book "Somewhere Inside" by Laura and Lisa Ling, in which both women provide a riveting account of the ways that they fought for release, including working to understand the motives of the North Korean captures and the international politics at play, I was awed by the strength and courage of the Lings. However, after reading "The World is Bigger Now", I was not in awe of the author, in fact I was sh...more
Kate
A quick read and an interesting story, although I feel like a better writer could have given the book more drama and tension. I was surprised every time I looked at the bottom of my kindle screen and saw how fast I was going through the book, because it didn't feel that way. Reading about Lee & Ling's actual capture had my heart pounding, but after that, I was able to put the book down. To be fair, being imprisoned is much less dramatic than being captured, but a great writer can make anythi...more
Gretchen
Meh. Euna's story, though interesting, was not very interesting to read. I struggled with the beginning of the book because it was background information on her life. I think this part of the book could have been much shorter. It was almost like she wants the reader to feel a sort of punishment. Get to the story, Euna!

Once she got to the story, the book was a fast read, and I could almost feel the mental anguish she was feeling. Part of the book that got me thinking was when she talked about her...more
Valarie
It is hard to fairly evaluate this book, because I read Laura and Lisa Ling's version first. While this is apparently an honest and heartfelt account of her captivity, Euna Lee's memoir just pales in comparison to her colleague's. There is not as much background information, not as much introspection, and none of the recounting of what it was like for her family back home. One of the most interesting parts of this ordeal was the way the journalists' families had to tiptoe around the subject of N...more
Susan
Euna Lee captivates her readers with a unique look into North Korea. When she and fellow journalist Laura Ling are abducted in China and dragged across the Tumen River into North Korea, Lee never thinks she'll be detained in Pyongyang for 5 months or sentenced to 12 years of hard labor. A young mother and wife of an aspiring actor, Lee realizes during her imprisonment that she's been working too hard. She sometimes gives up hope when it seems like both North Korea and the US aren't budging in th...more
Patricia
Unlike the book written by Laura & Lisa Ling, this was a bit different. I felt more sympathetic toward Euna due to the fact that she had a child, and also because she could have saved herself by running and not stopping to help her co-worker when they were captured. This lady showed true courage and would not leave her friend behind which led to her captivity. Baesd on both books I also felt that she was treated somewhat worse in captivity than Laura. This in large by the fact that she is Ko...more
Vanessa
If you have to choose one of the two memoirs, I would choose the Ling sisters' book, but nevertheless, it's nice to read Euna's perspective during her time imprisoned by the North Korean government. I felt that the content dragged on a bit and a lot of it was repetitive but one can't help but get caught up in her emotional journey. It's really one of those books that get you thinking about your own life and how you're living it at the moment. Right now we have a choice to change things so that w...more
Terry
Euna Lee was one of the American Korean journalists who were captured and kept in captivity by the North Koreans. She was ultimately freed through the intervention of Bill Clinton after five months in captivity and conviction as a "criminal" under the North Koreans.

The details are a bit overdone with her emotional state and missing family. She makes a great case that there are good people in all countries and she met some there who had a humanitarian streak in them. At the same time, there is in...more
Ariana
Great book. Enjoyed her talking about her religion and how it helped her through her time in North Korea.
Joyce
May 07, 2014 Joyce rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Joyce by: Mom
Well written to share the experience of her capture and imprisonment in North Korea.
Meg - A Bookish Affair
I could not put this book down! In 2009, Euna Lee and Laura Ling were captured on the North Korean- Chinese border as they were working on a documentary about North Korean defectors. For the next several months, Euna and Laura are held in captivity while awaiting their fate in one of the most oppressive countries in the world. The book tells the story from Euna's point of view. She tells about how the thought of getting home to her husband and her beloved daughter carried her through some pretty...more
Clare
I'm sure that it is very boring being a hostage, even as I'm fascinated by kidnapping. My sister and I used to play kidnapper when were kids and we always wanted to be the kidnapper, instead of the kidnapped, because you just had to wait in a room (or the bathroom) for someone to rescue you.

I eagerly read Laura Ling's account of her capture and imprisonment by the Korean government and was fascinated. So I wanted to read her co-captive and co-worker's book as well.

Yawn. Euna Lee's book reminds...more
Josephine
I thought the story was fascinating overall, but I still preferred "Somewhere Inside" simply because there seemed to be more details of what happened while the women were in captivity -- this book focused largely on Euna's Christian faith and how that helped to get her through the day.

While I fully respect the fact that faith plays a huge part in the lives of others, to me, reading about the spiral into depression and the frantic and fervent prayers that Euna made was just...not as much of a st...more
Jennifer
I was drawn to this story from the moment I saw it on the news. People may say that Americans have no business being so close to the North Korean Border. Euna Lee was captured. Lee hints that their guide had a possible arrangement with the North Korean government which allowed them to be captured. The bottom line is that this happened. To hear the story from a mother's perspective, missing her child and husband was heartbreaking. I admire Lee's faith and endurance. A great story with a happy end...more
Jan
I enjoyed this true story of American journalist after she was release from captivity in North Korea, and how her husband and friends and family helped give 4 year old daughter Hana a life without her mother.
I think it was an honest memoir and although it was about an important event to Euna, I found myself sometimes somewhat bored. Although it was supposed to show her personal convition that God would protect and sustain her, I didn't find it very religiously convincing.
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