• Stars Between the Sun and Moon

  • One Woman's Life in North Korea and Escape to Freedom
  • By: Lucia Jang, Susan McClelland
  • Narrated by: Janet Song
  • Length: 7 hrs and 39 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (182 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Born in 1970s North Korea, Lucia Jang grew up in a typical household - her parents worked in the factories, and the family scraped by on rations. Nightly she bowed to her photo of Kim Il-Sung. It was the beginning of a chaotic period with a decade-long famine.

Jang married an abusive man who sold their baby. She left him and went home to help her family by illegally crossing the river to China to trade goods. She was caught and imprisoned twice. After giving birth to a second child, which the government ordered to be killed, she escaped with him, fleeing under gunfire across the Chinese border. This demonstration of love and courage reflects the range of experiences many North Korean women have endured.

©2014 Lucia Jang and Susan McClelland (P)2015 Dreamscape Media, LLC
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic Reviews

"Highly recommended for readers interested in North Korea as well as those who enjoy inspirational stories." ( Library Journal)

What listeners say about Stars Between the Sun and Moon

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic story. Well read.

I have now read 4 books about North Korean Refugees. While this is not my favorite, it is definitely near the top (Yeonmi Park's book is by far the best imo).

The reading is clear and very easily understood. The story itself will keep you so interested you won't want to stop listening. Give this book a chance and you will not regret it.

8 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good story

I've been plowing through all the North Korean content they have on audible and this book is a worthy addition once you get past the first few chapters. If you've read other defectors books you'll hear a lot of familiar things, but her travels and her escape actually go a different route than usual.

For the bad... the book is way to flowery at the beginning, it's written like a love novel written by a teenage girl. Also a lot of the dialogue in the book comes off as completely unbelievable along with the wording used. I think this is the fault of the english author who is trying to pump everything up in terms of language used (not the story but the language) and is doing a bad impression of an American indian. I've heard a lot of North Korean defectors talk and none that I've heard talk like it's 1800 America "and the sun and moon dance in sky with blanket pricked with light by the gods showing through...". That's thankfully not an actual example, but it gives you an idea of how the book comes off at times, however as the book moves into the later chapters the writing gets more serious and the book gets dramatically more interesting.

The reader of the book does a good job, is professional. 4 out of 5 isn't bad in my book, it's not not elite, which I think is fair as the content of the book doesn't really allow for an elite performance.

Overall this is worth adding to any collection of North Korean books, but because of the flowery writing maybe save it for the end of that collection as opposed to the beginning.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Well narrated

Janet Song did a wonderful job narrating this story. The woman's unfortunate history in North Korea was incredibly very interesting and sad to listen to.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Heart felt

Loved it. the book is a realistically portrayal of someone’s journey and struggle. I cried and saw this book as something to give me strength. When I feel weak I listen to it again to have her strength inspire me to be stronger. My struggle in front of hers seem minor and I wished humanity could me kinder and giving.

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Touching, raw and real.

It is surprising to think that in this day and age in this world there is such a place like North Korea.

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Never giving up remaining focused, determined2live

This is an amazing book. It's insightful, educating, detailed and it flows so we'll.
I never wanted it to end and I listened to the entire book in a days time, on & off, always keeping my ear bud in, hanging onto every word and getting ABSOLUTELY nothing else done.. lol. oh well

I was truly captivated and very very saddened at learning another horrific journey another family had been forced to endure such atrocities, generation after generation. Losing many members along the way from absolutely preventable situations. It's so tragic how absurdity monstrous this govt was and salt still are too their citizens. If only the N.K. citizens could of been given a proper govt that actually helped the people to succeed in their fault lives, instead of how they hindered any attempt at actually living any real genuine quality of life. They never cared who was stabbing to death, who was sick or needed help.. There govt lived lavishly all the while the citizens died slow, agonizing deaths. It so difficult to understand how any one of the NK citizens would even want any of them to run their country, it'll never make any sense what so ever to me.
How the Kim family has gotten away with so many years of killing their very own citizens, starving them to death, working them to death, feeding them nothing at all, selling the food that they slaved away at preparing, growing, maintaining and harvesting, to gain money to continue on creating nucs and living lavish lives consuming all the good they want, growing obese all the while the citizens are withering away and dying.
I know the citizens are not blind to their great leader getting fatter and fatter as they continue to grow smaller and smaller, how could they not rise up and revolt. This whole thing is extremely cultist, not to mention it's a prison not a country. They even have a system that reminds me somewhat of India's system. Where regardless of how smart a person may be, or what they may want to do in life, their life is planned in all aspects. They will never grow, succeed, become anything other then what the govt has given you. What your family is, so will be you. Regardless. If you are lucky enough to have higher education as an option, which many aren't. but if it is a possibility, if any one in your family, mother, father, sister, grandparents, aunt's, uncle's, cousins, ANYONE ever deflects or shows any wavering loyalty in any form towards the govt, your fait is sealed from that point on. You'll never be anything, never have anything, out even any hope for the situation to change. your forget viewed as a untrustworthy and a sympathizer. Wow. REALLY. Umm that to me would be the time I'd say it loud and clear a big F U to that govt and place and deflect and never look back. but that's all easier said then done, I know this, but it is insanity. but to them they know nothing else and never have which only angers me more. this govt is so disgusting and sociopathic.
THE MOST DIFFICULT PULL TO SWALLOW IS THE SIMPLE FACT OF IF NK HAD ANYTHING OF INTEREST TO OUR GOVT IN ANY WAY THAT WILL BENEFIT THEM, THEY'D STOP AT NOTHING TO COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY DISMANTLE THE GOVT AS A WHOLE. Please do not tell me it's impossible when we've all lived through how many different govt getting dismantled by our own govt. They used humanitarian and human right excuses when in reality we all very well know it's has zero to do with saving lives but rather due to gaining what ever it was the American govt wanted and felt they needed from which ever govt they overthrew. I'm not saying we should go into other countries and destroy what they've built, their govt's etc, who r we to be the judge Judy and executioner. We have no right to impose our beliefs ways and systems on any population of any country EVER. UNLESS OF COURSE they r literally killing their citizens, unless their citizens desperately need saving, UNLESS if someone doesn't intervene there will continue to be death, starvation, harm, danger, inflicted into the population and unless the citizens themselves truly have no concept of their real situation and they do not realize without the intervention of other govts they have no real chance of choice, freedom or even life. Which out of all the many countries today I CAN HONESTLY SAY I DON'T KNOW A BETTER EXAMPLE OF PPL NEEDING HELP ANYMORE THEN THE PPL OF NK. ONCE THEY GET THE HELP, REALIZE THIS FOR THEMSELVES THROUGH BEING BETTER EDUCATED, GIVEN THE BASIC TRUE KNOWLEDGE THAT'S BEEN KEPT FROM THEM FOR FAR TOO LONG, THEN IT SHOULD BE THEM TO DECIDE THE WAY THEY WANT TO BE GOVERNED, WHAT SYSTEM THEY CHOOSE SHOULD BE THEIRS ALONE TO CHOOSE. If the American govt could show time and time again their ability to toss a govt in it's head, forcing democratic systems to be put in place even if the citizens May want different, then why can't they truly help ppl who desperately need it and sadly some may not even realize the extent of their very dismal reality. I guess there's no oil in NK, or gold, or natural resources that our govt is wanting or whatever else they may want, I guess it's not worth their time or energy if they aren't set to make massive gains. This is not a conspiracy here this is truth. what's even more disgusting is that ppl are still dying and more so since COVID-19 and the intense even more stricter boarder patrol and shoot on sight order to any soldier who sees anyone attempting to cross over.. Still no other country feels it's imperative to step in, it can be done without a huge effort, or even a huge number of pl. between the U.S and our CIA or special forces, or British MI6 it even better yet, Israel's Massad I'm sure those the alone could figure a way to do it as quietly, efficiently, and quick as possible to swoop in and take care of Kim and angry to officials loyal to him. Pull some James bond action. No seriously it could, should be done now but later and by force or by surrender what ever needs to be done. period no excuses


This book can really get your mind rolling as it so obviously has done to me. It's gets wheels turning to the point I began thinking of all aspects, reasons, scenarios as to why & how things like this not only have happened, but continue for so many decades, and insanely enough r still prevalent in today's world. IT MAKES NO SENSE WHAT SO EVER. IS THE WORLD WAITING FOR ALL NK PPL TO BE MURDERED BY THEIR GOVT B4 ANYONE FEELS THE NEED TO STEP IN AND SAVE INNOCENT PRECIOUS LIVES. WHO DEFINES WORTH? EVERY LAST CITIZEN IS WORTH SAVING, NO ONE ELSE NEEDS TO BE LOST TO THIS FILTHY, GREEDY, SELFISH, SELF SEEKING CORRUPT REGIME. EVERY DAY PPL HAVE TO LOOK AT THIS OBESE LEADER ALL THE WHILE HIS CITIZENS R STARVING TO DEATH, STILL TO THIS DAY IT'S HAPPENING WTF IS GOING ON .

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Heartbreaking but inspiring

A truly brilliant story of human resilience and determination. This story brought tears to my eyes.

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what a ride!

i really liked that it covered the early years and a lot of north korean culture that ive never heard in any other book. the writer was ostensibly older when she defected, so she was able to cover much more.

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Between the sun and the moon

Excellent book had me on the edge the whole time human nature to struggle on and so for so for a better life is amazing must read very good book

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    5 out of 5 stars
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What some people have lived through is astonishing

The plight of North Koreans is heartbreaking. This woman has survived against all odds. Her story is especially harrowing and once you start listening you won't want to stop. North Korea has no food, no God, and often not a drop of human kindness even amongst families. So grateful that Lucia Jang survived and so hope her life in Canada is a good one!

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