Yonni Kim
Book: Please Look After Mom
Author: Kyung-Sook Shin

Lately, I have been hearing more news about deaths rather than births in my circles, especially since my parents and my husband’s parents are aging rapidly and I think more about losing them.

“Please Look After Mom” describes the relationships between the family members in a loving but aching way, how moms give up themselves for others in their families. This made me wonder whether I and all moms around the world are following the same paths as our foremothers.

Just like mine, the family in the book takes everything for granted, especially their mom’s presence. It made me think about how I really don’t know much about my own mother, her wishes, dreams, experiences she had and has now. I know a little bit here and there, but not how she was when she was a little girl and then as a young woman, when she left Korea and emigrated to a foreign country. I want to spend as much time with her as possible and ask her about her dreams and perspectives.

For anyone interested in Korea, or who has relationship with a Korean, it’s a good picture of a contemporary Korean family and, of course, the mom’s role in the family and Korean society.