Yeonmi was born in Hyesan, a city in North Korea, next to the border with China. Together with her parents and older sister, they tried every possible way to survive in the ‘Hermit Kingdom’. When she reached 13, their situation went from bad to desperate. Her sister decided to escape to China to have a better life. After some time, Yeonmi and her mother did the same, not knowing that women were being sold as brides on the other side of the border. Once in China, Yeonmi and her mother had to again fight for survival; this time, they were fighting against groups who drugged women and passed them around to other men. Both realizing they were still in hell, they chose to cross the freezing Gobi desert to reach Mongolia, towards freedom in South Korea.