Please Look after Mom

Please Look after Mom

by Kyung-sook Shin
4.1 98


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Please Look after Mom by Kyung-sook Shin


When sixty-nine-year-old So-nyo is separated from her husband among the crowds of the Seoul subway station, her family begins a desperate search to find her. Yet as long-held secrets and private sorrows begin to reveal themselves, they are forced to wonder: how well did they actually know the woman they called Mom?
Told through the piercing voices and urgent perspectives of a daughter, son, husband, and mother, Please Look After Mom is at once an authentic picture of contemporary life in Korea and a universal story of family love.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307739513
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/03/2012
Series: Vintage Contemporaries Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 159,774
Product dimensions: 7.94(w) x 5.00(h) x 0.77(d)

About the Author

Kyung-Sook Shin is the author of numerous works of fiction and is one of South Korea’s most widely read and acclaimed novelists. She was the first woman to be awarded the Man Asian Literary Prize (for Please Look After Mom), and she has also been honored with the Manhae Literature Prize, the Dong-in Literature Prize, and the Yi Sang Literary Prize, as well as France’s Prix de l’Inaperçu. Please Look After Mom is her first book to appear in English. It will be published in twenty-nine countries and has sold over 2 million copies in South Korea alone.

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Please Look after Mom 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 98 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In an overly crowded Seoul subway station, Park So-nyo becomes separated from her husband rushing to make a train. A rural farmer who is totally lost in the big city Park vanishes. Her spouse and adult children panic as mom's steady consistency is the magnet that kept the family together. Each of Park's family feel guilt for taking her for granted as they all assume she will always be there. Her spouse who has never had a kind word for his rural wife realizes how much she means to him and how she ignored her desires to be there for him. Her daughter who thought her mom was an illiterate barbarian who could not read a book misses her as she fondly recalls how her mother encouraged her to read and be much more. Her son who treated her with disdain as he made demands of his mom wants to make amends for his treatment of her. Meanwhile mom wanders the city while recalling her family's embarrassment and disdain of her for being a throwback from a previous century. This is an intriguing look at a Korean family who could be any ethnic group in which taking for granted a loved one until you lose what turns out to be most cherished is a common fault. The husband and two children were embarrassed by their mom until she vanishes; now they're worried and remorseful while mom reflects back on her loneliness due to her performing her motherhood duty. Filled with pathos and a strong underlying message to cherish those you love before it is too late, readers will relish this profound tale made even more poignant by the rotating viewpoint. Harriet Klausner
knollbrook More than 1 year ago
beautiful story of how we often don't appreciate something until its gone ! we can all learn from the story of this family's tragedy.
Hannah Kang More than 1 year ago
This story is so sad... I cried so much. It reminded me of my mother. People, you must read this story. This story will move you so much, you will actually bring back the past in front of you. Thank you so much, Korean author. Thank you.
gl More than 1 year ago
Please Look After Mom is an amazing read and one of the best books that I've read in a long time. While on the surface it is a story about an older South Korean woman, it is really a story about love, parenthood, sacrifice, and family. It's message is universal - read the book and share it with people that you love. ISBN-10: 9780307593917 - Hardcover Publisher: Knopf (April 5, 2011), 256 pages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Grippping from the beginning. A 'must read' for all genders.
Kyongsu Han More than 1 year ago
really great story I could recommend without hesitation.
Mary Jesse More than 1 year ago
This is a beautiful, very well written story about family and especially a mother's love and sacrifice. It kept me interested right up to the tearjerking end.
Soohyun Lee More than 1 year ago
I like this book. This book was so sad and made me about my parents.
Dianax2 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. It made me tear at some points and really take a good look at my relationship with my mother. This is an amazing book that really draws you in from the first page. Highly recommended!!!
Johanna197 More than 1 year ago
I wanted to read this book to explore the inner workings of a Korean family. My surprise was that Ms Shin's deeply emotional story transcends culture and nationality and touches sons, daughters, wives and mothers universally. I felt myself experiencing the daughter's neglect and the mother 's love and sacrifice and I was deeply moved. Kudos to Ms Shin, she is very insiteful and expresses the human spirit in a powerful story. I recommend this read to all.
Laine-librariancanreadtoo More than 1 year ago
What is a Mother? A mother is there to protect her children. She is to make sure that they learn the fundamentals of life, but also know that she will protect them whenever they need. She will feed them; clothe them; kiss their boo-boos; and scare away monsters underneath the beds. That is why Mother's are here. To comfort the kids. But who is there for the Mothers? Yes there are the husbands, but more times than we can count, the husbands need looking after and that's another chore for the Mom's to do. Women have sort of picked up on that role many years back. Kids don't realize it till their Moms are getting older or have passed away and by then it's too late for them to take care of their Moms. So what happens when kids leave the house? How about the husband? Who will then take care of Mother? She's still a human being...she needs a shoulder to cry on once in a while too! Please look After Mom is a story like no other. This story showcases all family members and their thoughts and remembrance of Mom when Mom goes missing in a busy Seoul Subway station. As they reminisce of their mother you find yourself reminiscing about your own mother. Think of all the times your mother stood by you no matter what. Think of the times YOU said some things to her and as you were walking away you heard her say "I Love You". Have you said that to her? What have you done to repay those nasty things you didn't mean to say to her? Who's going to look after Mom when the kids are gone?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This novel is magic. The author writes with the beauty and clarity of spring water. She brings every image crisply to mind, and brings out the truth in every character's heart. I wanted to go and live in Mom's world for a while, to harvest, prepare, and preserve food as her author does images and emotions. What a gift!
dvorders More than 1 year ago
I tried to read this book, but I just couldn't immerse myself. I'm disappointed because while I was in South Korea, there was a lot of talk about the book and author. There wasn't any one thing that detracted me, but I just couldn't get into the book and want to read it. It was more of a chore and not enjoyable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book very much and appreciated the writing style and a look a life in Korea.  Having lived in Japan I had even more of an interest.  but, I waited through the book to get the answer as to where Mom went/.  At the end death was assumed, but would have liked more answers as to what happened to her. 
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think adults would understand the writing of this author.Very good story about relationship of children and Mother. I would read another book by this author and very good book for discussion in book club.Good insight into korean way way of life and I enjoyed the book.
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PaqiPR More than 1 year ago
The unique point of view makes this book. My heart breaks even more for Mom's quietly frantic, guilty, and repentant family as much as it does for Mom, who actually lived a meaningful, authentic, and even joyous life.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's been a long time since I've had such an emotional reaction to a book. A must read for any daughter. Makes you really think about your mother as a person with her own hopes dreams and struggles.