I had heard Ms. Demick speaking about her book, "Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea" on NPR a few weeks ago and considering my fascination with North Korea, thought this would be a good read.
Turns out it was a perfectly fine read.
The book was more of a novelized take on interviews the author had with defectors to South Korea beginning around 2004. I have no doubt that she's attempted to accurately portray their statements, but the fact that she's only able to interview defectors naturally skews the take on things in North Korea.
This approach to the book, while interesting, left me wondering how much of it was factual. I almost wish she had either done this as a novel or as a pure academic take on research.