Book Concierge's Reviews > Please Look After Mom

Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin
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bookshelves: audio, concierge, family, korea, library, strong-women

Translated by Chi-Young Kim
Book on CD read by: Mark Bramhall, Janet Song, Samantha Quan, and Bruce Turk

From the book jacket: A million-plus-copy best seller in Korea – this is the stunning, deeply moving story of a family’s search for their mother, who goes missing one afternoon amid the crowds of the Seoul Station subway.

My reactions
I enjoy reading fiction from and about different cultures. Shin’s work gives the reader some insight into contemporary Korean life, but it was missing something for me.

I had an idea that the book dealt with the mother’s dementia. I guess I had in mind a sort of Korean version of Still Alice. I don’t know where I got that impression, but I’m sure it affected my overall reaction, because that’s not what this book is. Rather, it is the story of one family’s dynamics. As the characters search for their missing mother / wife, they recall past events … a first day of school, a trip to the beach, meals shared, etc … that help to paint the picture of this family’s relationships, home life, aspirations, disappointments, and triumphs.

The author tells the story from the perspective of four characters: a daughter, son, husband and mother. She also uses second person voice for much of the book. Perhaps she intended to draw the reader in with this technique, or perhaps it is a common grammatical choice in Korean, but I found it difficult to connect to the characters. It was as if they were not telling their own story, but supposing what might happen to “you.”

Using four different voice artists for the audio version was a great move, however. It clearly indicated the change in character from one section to another.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
May 31, 2017 – Finished Reading
June 8, 2017 – Shelved
June 8, 2017 – Shelved as: audio
June 8, 2017 – Shelved as: concierge
June 8, 2017 – Shelved as: family
June 8, 2017 – Shelved as: korea
June 8, 2017 – Shelved as: library
June 8, 2017 – Shelved as: strong-women

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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message 1: by Julie (new)

Julie I looked at this book cover and I know I didn't read this book but it looks a little bit like the cover of The Barbara Streisand Album with all the shadowing.


Book Concierge Julie wrote: "I looked at this book cover and I know I didn't read this book but it looks a little bit like the cover of The Barbara Streisand Album with all the shadowing."

OMG ... you're absolutely right!


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