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In 1997 the author, aged 17, escaped North Korea for China. Her mother's first words over the telephone to her lost daughter were "don't come back". The reprisals for all of them would have been lethal. Twelve years later she returned to the North Korean border in a daring mission to spirit her mother and brother to South Korea in a very costly and dangerous journey. This eloquent book offers the first credible account of ordinary life in North Korea and gives an extraordinary insight into the life under one of the world's most ruthless and secretive dictatorships.