Please Look After Mom

Kyoung-Suk Sin

There is an old saying that we never really appreciate those closest to us until they are gone. Such is the case of the family of an elderly Korean woman from the countryside who goes missing one day. Mom and Dad visit the city quite often to see their grown children and grandchildren. On this particular visit, however, they decide to take the subway to their son’s house rather than have him pick them up at the train station.
When the subway train pulls into the crowded station, Mom and Dad forge their way into the car. As the door shuts, Dad turns to speak to Mom, only to discover that she has not made it onto the train. As the crowd swelled and pushed to board, Mom was pulled away from Dad and left behind on the platform. Dad gets off the subway at the next stop and returns to the station, only to find that he is too late. Mom has wandered away. When she does not show up at her son’s house by the next day, the distraught family begins a search for her. As the search continues, family members recall memories of Mom’s life and woefully regret the roles they each played in taking her for granted.

Told from the viewpoint of various family members as well as Mom herself, this is a touching yet not overly sentimental portrait of family dynamics and the extent to which a mother’s love shows no bounds. This book should appeal to those readers interested in contemporary Asian culture as well as those who look for a book that is strong on family dynamics.

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