PBPB, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by PBPB)
This is a compelling book about a family; it shows how each person in the family views the mother and then how the mother views herself. I found myself thinking about the characters long after I read the book and I have recommended this book to many friends. Perhaps it is helpful to know that this book does deal tangentially with Alzheimers Disease but not in a scary way.
alchymyst, November 15, 2011 (view all comments by alchymyst)
Incredibly poignant story about sacrifices mothers make for their children, about appreciating people while they are still with us, and about regrets. It will make you cry and will stay with you forever.
writermala, June 23, 2011 (view all comments by writermala)
This story tugs at your heartstrings and takes you along with it. It is only when So-nyo Park goes missing that her family stops and thinks about what she meant to each of them. Any reader is bound to be able to relate certain facets of his/her mom in this mother; yes, a certain motherhood attribute which transcends all cultural barriers. Of course we get a great picture of Korean culture but the story itself is so powerful that on the first reading one just keeps going. This is one of those books that one wants to keep on reading and with each reading a new perspective is obtained. When the sons and daughters reflect on their mother they realize what she means to them and when the father reflects on her he realizes for the first time that she was more than a mother to his children - she was his wife!
Knopf Publishing Group -
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"Shin's affecting English-language debut centers on the life of a hardworking, uncomplaining woman who goes missing in a bustling Seoul subway station. After Park So-nyo's disappearance, her grown children and her husband are filled with guilt and remorse at having taken So-nyo for granted and reflect, in a round-robin of narration, on her life and role in their lives. Having, through Mom's unstinting dedication, achieved professional success, her children understand for the first time the hardships she endured. Her irresponsible and harshly critical husband, meanwhile, finally acknowledges the depth of his love and the seriousness of her sacrifices for him. Narrating in her own voice late in the book, the spirit of Mom watches her family and finally voices her lifelong loneliness and depression and recalls the one secret in her life. As memories accrue, the narrative becomes increasingly poignant and psychologically revealing of all the characters, and though it does sometimes go soggy with pathos, most readers should find resonance in this family story, a runaway bestseller in Korea poised for a similar run here. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
by Gary Shteyngart, author of Super Sad True Love Story,
"Please Look After Mom is an authentic, moving story that brings to vivid life the deep family connections that lie at the core of Korean culture. But it also speaks beautifully to an urgent issue of our time: migration, and how the movement of people from small towns and villages to big cities can cause heartbreak and even tragedy. This is a tapestry of family life that will be read all over the world. I loved this book."
"Kyung-sook Shin has managed some kind of alchemy in this novel. Weaving together four vivid voices
by Edwidge Danticat, author of Breath, Eyes, Memory and Brother, I'm Dying,
"A suspenseful and moving book. We join this family as soon as we open these pages and we never quite leave it. Or it never leaves us. Cleverly structured and brimming with secrets and revelations, Please Look After Mom is a powerful and memorable read."
A million-plus-copy best seller in Korea—a magnificent English-language debut poised to become an international sensation—this is the stunning, deeply moving story of a familys search for their mother, who goes missing one afternoon amid the crowds of the Seoul Station subway.
Told through the piercing voices and urgent perspectives of a daughter, son, husband, and mother, Please Look After Mom is at once an authentic picture of contemporary life in Korea and a universal story of family love.
You will never think of your mother the same way again after you read this book.
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