Asian studies in Lithuania
Original language: Korean
Translated from: Korean
Authors: Kyung-sook, Shin
Translated by: Šiaučiūnas-Kačinskas, Martynas
ISBN: 9786094791895
Published in: Vilnius
Published on: 2019
Publisher: Baltos lankos

“Please Look after Mom”- it is a novel that has won many awards and created a name for Shin Kyung-sook not only in her home country but also in the world. This novel portrays deep motherly love, however, it also conveys the message of how much do we actually know about our loved ones. The plot starts slow and creates this mysterious atmosphere as well as makes you feel thrilled about family secrets.

The story begins when a 69 year old Park Sonyeo disappears mysteriously in a metro station. Her family immediately starts looking for her, especially her writer daughter who still cannot believe her mom disappeared. In this novel narrator perspective changes a lot. In the beginning it starts with Park Sonyeo’s loved ones and it finishes with her thoughts and memories. Throughout the entire book people close to the disappeared woman try their best to remember more information about her, however, the more they try the more they realize that they do not know her that well. The author brilliantly express the feeling of distress of the daughter of Park Sonyeo when she tries to put as much important information on the posters of the missing person but cannot remember anything about her mother. Constant memories from the old days and mother’s love and dedication to her children leaves the reader teary-eyed. The entire search for Park Sonyeo is extremely emotional with very vivid memories and events from the past. Furthermore, the author is keeping readers on the edge the entire book.

It is important to mention that this book will not be for everyone. It is very interestingly written in a style I have never seen before. Sometimes this style can make you confused and make the plot not that clear. Also, traditional Korean family and motherly love is portrayed really well, however, if you are not that familiar with Korean family values and motherly dedication I would recommend to research it before reading this book. It will simply make this beautiful novel even more impactful.

“Please Look after Mom” is a book that deserves all the praises and awards. It makes you look at your family and especially your mom in a different light.

Shin Kyung-sook- is a South Korean author, the first woman to win MAN ASIAN literary prize for her book “Please Look after Mom”.

Initiators of the project: Japan foundation VDU