A diary of despair and hope gives the picture of Jong Yong's life during the last half of 1950 and the result though somewhat sentimentalized, has its value as a first hand account of a little known country and a people who will be part of the new Asia. Jong Yong, about 17 at the time of his story, lived in Chong-ju on the Musim river where his father was active in political affairs that were allied with the South Korean government. When war came, his family fled south. His mother and the younger children stayed in a nearby hill town but Jong Yong and his father went as far south as Pusan. Their lives were a series of trials and opportunities to be clutched at, like straws in the wind. Most of the book describes their hectic Journeyings but Jong Yong reflects back both to a time of peace when their lives were pleasant, and to a high school incident when his part in a communist strike opened his eyes to the evils as well as the impracticalities of the system. A pity that the book seems ""manufactured"" for it fills the lack of a more realistic account.