Shocking from freedom to prison in one day

Don’t take your freedom for granted

Has your freedom ever been cut short? I like so many others have the privilege of living free, so long as we don’t break the law. We are not in fear of being chucked into a prison camp if we say or do things that go against the party line. This life, however, is not the case in certain parts of the world. I wonder how we would cope with living in such a society? But this scenario can happen to a Westerner, a moment of not thinking or wearing the right thing can lead you from freedom to prison in one day. Shocking but true.

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Out of North Korea by Alana Terry.

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My penny’s worth

Out of North Korea is a different book from the usual ones I read. You are plunged immediately into the thoughts of Ian McCallister, the main character who has been kidnapped and taken from China to North Korea. He wakes in a cell not knowing quite why he is there. His sense of humour at first seems at odds with the trouble he is in. However, Alana Terry uses it throughout the story to good effect helping it to suggest the different mood changes as the tale unfolds.

“Somewhere in the back of my head, I hear my sixth-grade schoolteacher scolding, Ian all your jokes and pranks and antics are going to catch up with you one day, young man.”

Other characters that I liked

The other two main characters, Hee-Man (yes a joke name for the Korea guard) and Grandma Lucy play pivotal roles in the story. There is a strong Christian seed that winds its way throughout but is not dogmatic, more supportive. But does Ian believe, do these threads help him or confirm his thoughts that Christians are blind?

As I said earlier, Alana’s writing had me right there in Ian’s head; I could feel the gravity of the situation as Ian realises he is alone where he knows no-one nor speaks their language. How would I think if that were me?

I’m already mentally and physically at the bottom of a very long rope. Quote from #Out of North Korea Click To Tweet
What key points would I say were important

There is a lot that can be taken from this book.

Being positive in the face of an unknown future.

Finding ways to give thanks even in the mess of life.

Understanding that freedom is precious and ought to be celebrated not taken for granted.

Being grateful for small mercies.

Friendships come in different shapes and sizes.

Yes it had me crying

My heart cried as I experienced Ian’s humiliation but felt proud when he managed to turn his misery to thanks. That is not a smooth turn around for anyone. You see Ian has got under my skin, to me he is real, he has lost his freedom and is in dire straits. I don’t think I am giving away the plot by stating so, I mean what else would the story be about – Tulips in Amsterdam?

Did the book grip me?

I needed to know what happened to Ian. I liked the small chapters as it built up the suspense and forced me to keep turning those pages. Each one walked me deeper into Ian’s world.

“He’s (God) the friend who whisper’s peace to you when the darkness tempts you toward despair.”

Again I cried, (I don’t tend to, very few books have this impact) when Grandma Lucy writes a letter to Ian. I hope the author won’t mind that I copied it and stuck it on my wall – I need reminding of its message.

So would I recommend Out of North Korea

Yes, I would. It’s easy to take your freedom for granted and ignore the places in our world where citizens are not as fortunate as ourselves. The book is as powerful as you want it to be. At first, I thought the humour too much in such a severe situation, but it seemed to work when viewed overall in the context of a man’s spirit. Usually, humour is the first thing to go!

I would like to give the book 5 ****

Thank you, Alana Terry, for bringing attention to the plight of those who have lost their freedom.

*I received this book for free. No compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.*

Now I have had my say, don’t forget the GIVEAWAY from Alana Terry at the bottom of this post.

Out of North Korea by #AlanaTerry #book on tour with @Celebrate_Lit read #bookreview & enter #free #giveaway $30 Amazon gift card #amreading Click To Tweet

About the Book

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Out of North Korea by Alana Terry

Book Title: Out of North Korea

Author: Alana Terry

Genre: Christian Thriller/Suspense

Release date: June 25, 2018

A single photograph could cost his life …

Ian McAllister has searched the world over, hunting for that all-elusive perfect photograph.

He finds it on a tourist trip to North Korea when he stumbles upon a young street kid foraging for roots.

Unaware that this single act will brand him a spy and cost his freedom, Ian takes the shot.

Now he must pay the penalty.

A true-to-life novel about an American imprisoned behind North Korea’s closed borders.

A gripping tale of courage, faith, and hope from award-winning Christian novelist Alana Terry.

About the Author

Margaret Kazmierczak review Out of North Korea by Alana TerryAlana is a pastor’s wife, homeschooling mom, self-diagnosed chicken lady, and Christian suspense author. Her novels have won awards from Women of Faith, Book Club Network, Grace Awards, Readers’ Favorite, and more. Alana’s passion for social justice, human rights, and religious freedom shines through her writing, and her books are known for raising tough questions without preaching. She and her family live in rural Alaska where the northern lights in the winter and midnightsun in the summer make hauling water, surviving the annual mosquito apocalypse, and cleaning goat stalls in negative forty degrees worth every second.

Guest Post from Alana Terry

Have you seen in the news that the leaders of North and South Korea have both publicly stated their willingness to promote peace on the Korean peninsula? It was certainly a historic moment, and this part of the world has earned its place in global headlines.
My interest in North Korea, however, goes back over a decade, when as a young mother I received a prayer burden for the people of North Korea. Fast-forward to five years ago when my debut novel was released. The Beloved Daughter follows the life of a young girl who is sent to a prison camp because of her father’s Christian faith. In addition to winning several awards, The Beloved Daughter gave an expression to my prayer burden to see North Korea free to worship the one true God.
Out of North Korea is unique among my other titles because it’s the first story that focuses on an American in North Korea. Ian McAllister is captured and held in a Pyongyang prison because of a photograph he took of a young homeless boy. I hope the message leaves you as inspired and encouraged as I was when I was writing it.

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