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Fixed on Fiction

Please Look After Mom

In September, Fixed on Fiction met to discuss Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin-

An international sensation and a bestseller that has sold over 1.5 million copies author's Korea, Please Look After Mom is a stunning, deeply moving story of a family's search for their missing mother - and their discovery of the desires, heartaches and secrets they never realized she harbored within. When sixty-nine year old So-nyo is separated from her husband among the crowds of the Seoul subway station, and vanishes, their children are consumed with loud recriminations, and are awash in sorrow and guilt. As they argue over the "Missing" flyers they are posting throughout the city - how large of a reward to offer, the best way to phrase the text - they realize that none of them have a recent photograph of Mom. Soon a larger question emerges: do they really know the woman they called Mom?
Told by the alternating voices of Mom's daughter, son, her husband and, in the shattering conclusion, by Mom herself, the novel pieces together, Rashomon-style, a life that appears ordinary but is anything but. This is a mystery of one mother that reveals itself to be the mystery of all our mothers: about her triumphs and disappointments and about who she is on her own terms, separate from who she is to her family. If you have ever been a daughter, a son, a husband or a mother, Please Look After Mom is a revelation - one that will bring tears to your eyes. 

-Summary courtesy of Goodreads.

Please Look After Mom received 6 thumbs-up votes and 6 so-so votes. Here are some of the initial comments readers made while discussing this month’s selection-

  • Once I started it I couldn’t put it down. I enjoyed the second person narration. Thought-provoking.
  • I enjoyed it. Listened to it on audio. I enjoyed the cultural piece of it.
  • I loved it…but I did feel very sad. The children regretting so much. You do have those regrets when you lose your parents.
  • So-so. I’m glad I read it, but I just felt guilty. I wasn’t feeling good as I was reading. Irritating when I didn’t know who was speaking.
  • I liked it. Difficult that we know mom died but not how. Lack of closure. I appreciated the concept of not understanding your mom as a person but just as “mom.”
  • I liked it. Yes, very heavy on guilt. I kept picturing her walking around in those sandals with that injured foot…devastating.
  • So-so. The mother was incredible. The end was lacking. Again, no closure.
  • I liked it for some reasons but there were a lot of stereotypes I didn’t care for.
  • I liked it! You don’t know what you have until it’s gone. I wanted closure as well.

Other titles mentioned during our disucssion-

Chances Are…

Just Mercy

My Sister, the Serial Killer

A Tragic Kind of Wonderful

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

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