Blogging the Bookshelf

Blogging my bookshelf – one book at a time

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Teen Romance in the Dark – “Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea” – Barbara Demick

September 18th, 2011 · No Comments · History, Love, North Korea, Totalitarianism

The dark has advantages of its own. Especially if you are a teenager dating somebody you can’t be seen with. When adults go to bed, sometimes as early as 7:00pm in winter, it is easy enough to slip out of the house. The darkness confers measures of privacy and freedom as hard to come by in North Korea as electricity. Wrapped in a magic cloak of invisibility, you can do what you like without worrying about the prying eyes of parents, neighbours, or secret police.

It’s extraordinary, but the narrative of this book is driven by a touching, almost Victorian romance between two North Korean teenagers. I certainly didn’t expect this book to feel sentimental!

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