Monday, July 4, 2016

Please Look After Mom - Kyung-Sook Shin

A touching story told from four different individual perspectives of a Mother who is lost in a subway station and her family's efforts to find her.

We're first introduced to the oldest daughter and third child.  She's single, a successful author, and often frustrated by her mother's demands and worries.  Then there's the eldest son, doted on from birth, who realizes how much his mother's love has supported him.  There's the husband who is lost suddenly without the wife who did everything for him and the children to where they came to accept it as the norm.  Finally, there is the voice of the mother, comforting them in their loss.

For a young author, this story has an older, mature voice.  Her characters are not terrible people; they've just never before not had their mother's presence as a given in their lives.  They each go through grieving her absence - anger at each other, guilt, sadness, each coming to realize how much they really didn't know about Mom.  It describes the self-sacrificing that can be exhibited by mothers, in particularly Korean mothers.

The martyrdom of Mom gets a bit unreal and the ending doesn't have the longed for resolution, but it works.  I enjoyed the story and was pulled through the book to the end. Good read.

Published: 2009  Read: July 2016  Genre: Fiction

ISBN: 978-0-307-59391-7

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