Book of words

“Please Look After Mother” is a sad book through and through, with every page steeped with such immense sorrow that even myself, a self-professed unemotional reader, would declare this translated novel by South Korean writer Shin Kyung-sook an absolute tear-jerker.

This is a story about a mother who one day disappeared at a train station and how her family coped with the loss. It is so touching that my best advice when reading it would be to have packets of tissues on hand.

“When you first heard Mother had gone missing, you angrily asked why nobody from your large family went to pick her and Father up at Seoul Station.

‘And where were you?’

Me? You clammed up. You didn’t find out about Mother’s disappearance until she’d been gone four days. You all blamed each other for Mother going missing, and you all felt wounded.”

At times, the novel felt…

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