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Please look after mom : a novel
Kyung-Sook Shin
Adult Fiction SIN

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From 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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

The Korean title of this indelible novel, Omma rul put¿ak hae, contains a sense of commanding trust that is missing in its English translation: "I entrust Mommy [to you]." That trust is irreparably splintered when Mom disappears after becoming separated from her rushing husband on a busy Seoul Station platform. In four distinct voices, the character of Mom-a rural farmwoman whose "hands could nurture any life"-is reassembled by her eldest daughter, whose books Mom couldn't read; her eldest son, for whom she could never do enough; her husband, who never slowed down; and finally Mom herself as she wanders through memories both strange and familiar. Shin's breathtaking novel is an acute reminder of how easily a family can fracture, how little we truly know one another, and how desperate need can sometimes overshadow even the deepest love. VERDICT Already a prominent writer in Korea, Shin finally makes her English-language debut with what will appeal to all readers who appreciate compelling, page-turning prose. Stay tuned: Mom should be one of this year's most-deserving best sellers. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 11/1/10.]-Terry Hong, Smithsonian BookDragon, Washington, DC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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