50 in 2013: Book Two

Please Look After MomPlease Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

While a great deal of poetic language is lost in translation and there is difficulty adjusting to a storyline written in second person, there is something tragically stunning about this novel.

Somewhere amongst the crowded, bustling chaos that is the Seoul subway, sixty-nine year old So-Nyo is separated from her husband. He boards the train assuming she is behind him. She is not. Before he can board another train and return to the station, she vanishes.

The family immediately begins a search. As the children search, they unveil hidden truths, secrets, and dreams sheltered by a woman they barely know. How well do children really know their parents?

The depths to which So-Nyo sacrifices and loses herself for her children is startling and difficult to read. Even more so when coupled with the admissions of her children and husband, none of whom realize her presence in their lives until she is missing. She devoted her whole being, her entire life to looking after everyone. In the end, who was looking out for her?

A true testament to the intricate woven tapestries that make up our family’s story and a reminder to cherish the hands that sacrificed something to place each stitch and write each story.


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