Saturday, January 28, 2012

Book Report: Good Advice For All Children

Please Look After MomPlease Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This little book of fiction is by an acclaimed Korean author, but it is the first of her books to be translated into English. It tells the story of a poor uneducated woman in a little village who sacrifices herself for her family and, unknown to her family, to others. She is unappreciated until she disappears on a visit to Seoul. I liked the book because of the insight it gives into Korean life and culture and the plot is interesting. It is confusing at points because the point of view is constantly changing among the different family members, without identifying who is speaking other than context. Also, everything is in the second person, even when the person is speaking in the first person. I don't know if that is a translation error, or if that is how it was intended to be written. Our daughter-in-law gave this book to us, but when I asked her how true to Korean life it actually is, she confessed that she hasn't read it. All I can say is it seems to be an accurate depiction.

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