A River in Darkness (Book Review)

Written by Michelle Watson

May 15, 2024

You’ll love it if
…well, you can’t love a book about another’s real-life suffering

This book review contains affiliate links. Here’s my disclosure policy.

A River in Darkness

By Masaji Ishikawa

Writing Craft
Moral Value

What if you exchanged a life of freedom for one of complete bondage?

This account was devastating to read. I can’t imagine how devastating it was to live through.

The atrocities that the North Korean government committed against its people are horrific. (And it’s still happening.) Masaji had a unique perspective because he spent his childhood in Japan, so when his family moved to North Korea when he was 13, he completely understood what they’d left behind…the “other” world that was “out there.” I can only imagine how those memories tortured him (and his family).

This book shows where communism leads…eventually. It’s bad.

I will say that this account is very sad, front to back. I wish that it ended on a happier note, but it ends on an honest one. If you’re hoping for a soaring tale of hope, this isn’t it.


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