Reads For The Road: Somewhere Inside by Laura Ling & Lisa Ling

by Lindsay Shapka in ,

Should anyone from your government read this book, we want you to know that though we have unique but independent perspectives on North Korea, neither of us ever had any malicious intentions when visiting your country. We just firmly believe in the fundamental right of people to be free.
— p 315-316

In March of 2009, American journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee were violently apprehended and imprisoned by North Korean soldiers while filming a documentary near the China-North Korea Border.

Over the months that they were held captive in one of the most mysterious and terrifying countries in the world, they endured intense interrogations that led to them being charged with ‘hostile acts’ and sentenced to 12 years in a labor camp. 

Somewhere Inside: One Sister’s Captivity in North Korea and the Other’s fight to Bring Her Home by both Lisa (also a prominent journalist) and Laura Ling, is an emotional, raw and honest account that gives insight into the events that unfolded, both in North Korea and America, leading to Laura and Euna’s eventual release. Told in their alternating voices, the sisters paint a fascinating picture of the mysterious, propaganda filled North Korea, the politics that played out in America, and the unique bond that allowed the sisters to send messages and comfort each other throughout the ordeal. 

Back in America, the Ling family witnessed humanity at its best, receiving an outpouring of love and support from around the world, while they waited to hear news about Laura.

More surprisingly, however, is Laura’s account of the kindness, connections and humanity that she encountered in the very people who hated her country and were holding her captive.

Laura’s stories were a testament to what happens when people are able to interact with others on a human-to-human level. When one is given the opportunity to look another person in the eye, irrespective of preconceived ideas about each other, things can often change, perspectives can widen.
— p 208