You were caught off guard. You had never thought of Mom as separate from the kitchen. Mom was the kitchen and the kitchen was Mom. You never wondered, Did Mom like being in the kitchen? –Please Look After Mom
Please Look After Mom is a very popular novel by South Korean author Kyung-Sook Shin. The novel focuses on a mother lost in South Korea and the family that tries desperately to find her. The reader sees the story unfold from the perspectives of the daughter, son, husband, and mother herself. Please Look After Mom is a story of family and memories once thought forgotten.
Life is sometimes amazingly fragile, but some lives are frighteningly strong. –Please Look After Mom
I decided to pick up this book after scrounging around the internet for some recommended Korean literature. Being an avid reader, I wanted to read something from the country that I am planning on moving to. There are a couple of things about this novel that make it beautiful yet unique. First would be the Korean culture. I, personally, haven’t read any novels that really go into detail about a modern Korean family; what it was like growing up, what their family traditions consist of, etc. Seeing their thoughts and actions really gave me a better understanding of their culture and views regarding family, work, and the like. Secondly, the use of second and first person in this novel was new to me. I have never read a novel before that was written in first or second person. It was a bit difficult for me to get used to, especially since the point of view changes every chapter, but after a while I began to love it! Reading as if someone is telling me what I am doing, or narrating my actions, helped me fully descend into the place of the main character. I felt as if I was actually a part of the novel itself, rather than just someone looking in through a window.
You compare yourself with Mom, but Mom was an entire world unto herself. –Please Look After Mom
This is a novel that I will be reading again. I read this in bits and pieces, but I would really love to sit and read all the way through in one sitting with a mug of hot tea next to me. To me, it was an emotional read. It didn’t bring me to tears, nor did it make me hop in the car to see my parents. However, Please Look After Mom is having me reflect on family. There will be a family reunion coming up in June 2015, maybe I can talk to some people and discover my family history! Martha Stewart has a couple of family tree activities/crafts that seem like a great way to start learning more about my family. My two favorite are the Precious Diamonds Family Tree and the Family Fan Chart.