The Last Exiles: Book summary and reviews of The Last Exiles by Ann Shin

The Last Exiles

by Ann Shin

The Last Exiles by Ann Shin X
The Last Exiles by Ann Shin
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2021
    336 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

An unforgettable saga inspired by true events, The Last Exiles is a searing portrait of a young couple in Pyongyang and their fight for love and freedom.

Jin and Suja meet and fall in love while studying at university in Pyongyang. She is a young journalist from a prominent family, while he is from a small village of little means. Outside the school, North Korea has fallen under great political upheaval, plunged into chaos and famine. When Jin returns home to find his family starving, their food rations all but gone, he makes a rash decision that will haunt him for the rest of his life.

Meanwhile, miles away, Suja has begun to feel the tenuousness of her privilege when she learns that Jin has disappeared. Risking everything, and defying her family, Suja sets out to find him, embarking on a dangerous journey that leads her into a dark criminal underbelly and tests their love and will to survive.

In this vivid and moving story, award-winning filmmaker Ann Shin offers a rare glimpse at life inside the guarded walls of North Korea and the harrowing experiences of those who are daring enough to attempt escape. Inspired by real stories of incredible bravery, The Last Exiles is a stunning debut about love, sacrifice and the price of liberty.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"In this moving debut, Shin depicts the incredible resilience of people and the power of love in the grim and oppressive realities of North Korea." - Booklist (starred review)

"Shin's suspenseful debut sets an adventurous love story against the backdrop of North Korea's authoritarian government during the last years of Kim Jong-il's reign...With taut pacing and rich prose, Shin provides a revelatory view on a system of underground brokers who aid defectors, but also fuel indentured servitude in China. The many layers make for a moving and powerful story." - Publishers Weekly

"Ann Shin's debut The Last Exiles is an exploration of the moral boundaries good people must navigate when their survival is at stake. This powerful tale of two lovers from North Korea who struggle to be reunited is a searing interrogation of the price of love and freedom. A thought-provoking, poignant and unflinching novel." - Jean Kwok, New York Times bestselling author of Searching for Sylvie Lee

"The Last Exiles offers a fascinating glimpse into North Korea, [and] the desperate measures undertaken to escape its guarded walls. A rich testament to human resilience and, ultimately, to love." - Cathy Marie Buchanan, New York Times bestselling author of The Painted Girls and Daughter of Black Lake

"With a love for her characters that is infectious, Ann Shin immerses us in the lives of two young lovers fleeing the dictates of one of the most oppressive regimes on earth. The Last Exiles is an exhilarating page-turner, at once intimate and epic, and a testament to resilience and hope." - Camilla Gibb, author of Sweetness in the Belly

This information about The Last Exiles shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Ann Shin

Ann Shin is a filmmaker and award-winning writer. Her documentary My Enemy, My Brother was shortlisted for a 2016 Academy Award and nominated for an Emmy. Her documentary, The Defector: Escape from North Korea won 7 awards including Best Documentary and Best Documentary Director at the 2014 Canadian Screen Academy Awards, a SXSW Interactive Award, and a Canadian Digi Award. She has directed programs for CBC, Discovery Channel, HGTV, History Channel, W Network, PBS, and Fine Living Network.

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