It was a move away from our regular choice of novel for October’s book club, with the group reading ‘Nothing to Envy: Real Lives in North Korea’ by Barbara Demick. The non-fiction book told the stories of six former residents of North Korea’s third largest city, Chongin.
And the experiment turned out to be a success, with everyone in the group finding the book a fascinating and eye opening insight into a closed country. Questions were raised about how the Orwellian tales could be happening in modern times to real people and how it is allowed to continue. The group found themselves asking how they would deal in the same situations and whether they could cope with the strict levels of control and mistrust at their neighbours who might report them for the slightest mistake. Everyone in the group felt they understood more about North Korea and enjoyed the challenge of reading a book which gave them a better understanding of the country.
The next meeting is on Thursday 25 November at 6pm, where the group will be discussing A Quiet Belief in Angels by local author R J Ellory. All are welcome, even those that don’t get round to finishing (or starting) the book!