Release Date: April 5th 2011
Publisher: Random House Canada
Buy It: Book Depository
The story of a family’s search for their mother, who goes missing one afternoon amid the crowds of the Seoul Station subway. Told through the piercing voices and urgent perspectives of a daughter, son, husband, and mother.I'm pretty sure this book was just too experimental for me. In general, I loved Shin's writing, but what I didn't always love was her story-telling. There were often times when I had no idea what was going on, and while some readers might find that intriguing, it honestly just made me frustrated. I wanted to relax and fall into the world of Please Look After Mom, but instead I found myself stumbling around it.
There are several different points of view used in the novel, including "you", which didn't exactly work for me as a reader. It's a hard POV to use, and when compared to the portion told directly from the mother's perspective, I found it a lot less enjoyable to read. The mother's narrative was definitely my favourite, but it took until the final quarter of the novel to reach it, and by then I was already disappointed with the novel as a whole.
That said, Please Look After Mom is an emotional story about the moment that a child starts to see a mother as a real person, and not just a mom. It has some lovely passages, but as a whole it had difficulty keeping my attention. That doesn't mean it was a bad book, it just wasn't the right one for me.