Nothing to Envy is on the range of historical fiction, but closer to fact than fiction. The novel’s basis comes from the interviews of its author, Barbara Demick, with defectors and refugees of and from North Korea. In it, the stories of those refugees become threads that Ms. Demick uses to weave a tapestry portraying life in North Korea, giving readers a look into a country that most only know through fanciful tales and overblown media, and that an unfortunate few know through hard, terrible experience. It is a deeply touching, engaging read, and she brings the characters, who are in fact real people made characters to protect their identities, to life. I highly recommend this book.