Literary Literate Tuesdays – Ain’t That a Tongue Twister

I’m assuming since you stumbled on to this here blog that you like books in some type of capacity or another, why else would you click on a blog that has the word “bookish” in the title. Now if I haven’t totally lost you there is a book that I just finished reading and would like to talk about if you don’t mind.

The book being Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin

Now do not judge this book by it’s title, it sounds needy and slightly boring like someone is saying “hey! Look after mom because she can’t eat on her own, pick up a phone, and she forgets to take her medications, also clean her every now and again”. No! I will say now that that is not this book at all.

If you like stories that make you feel things about characters you’d never thought you’d feel, or getting to know a character more so about their flaws than accomplishments, and stories that play with stylistic elements that aren’t used so often in modern literature then you should definitely pick up this one! I don’t want to give away anything so I’m not going to do any in-depth reviews or talk about moments I completely loved because that would ruin a bit of the heartache for you but if you ever want to converse just leave a comment and you can bet I’ll reply back ASAP.

Now structurally and stylistically this book is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. The main arch is parceled up into 4 parts: part one is in second person through the eldest sister’s POV, part two is in third person through the eldest brother’s POV, part three is in second person through the father’s POV, and part four is in first person through the mother’s POV (and then there is an epilogue at the end). The reason why most writers don’t use second person is because it can have the effect of isolating the reader (because it can be so specific and the reader might not have had the experiences in which the second person “you” has had the reader can feel distanced and read against the narrative) and sometimes it’s really hard to keep perspective. Nonetheless, Kyung-Sook Shin pulls off the narrative brilliantly and it really works to help develop the story (again I’m not going to go into detail because I want you to read it – we can talk when you’ve finished it).

I really should have done this in the beginning but a quick plot line of the book is that the mother of this family goes missing (which isn’t a spoiler because the first line of the book is literally “It’s been one week since Mom went missing”) and through the course of trying to find her the family is forced to wonder how well they really knew this person. It’s amazingly brilliant and at times the characters will just fill you with sorrow when the secrets and unsuspected feelings around their mother start to surface. Just a fair warning, while reading you’re going to feel a mix of emotions ranging from grief, sorrow, love, loss, happiness, regret, remorse, hopelessness, hopefulness, jealously, wronging, and plenty more. I was actually reading this on a bus full of people and I got to this one incredibly emotion-gut-wrentching part of the novel (and there are quite a few) where I started tearing up and had to actually put the book away in fear of crying in front of a bunch of people; I looked up and there was this woman just looking at me smiling while i tried to wipe my eyes. I’m telling you these words will hit you in the feels – No Joke!

Ok, if I don’t stop soon I’ll end up telling you everything that happens in the book. But if you’re really looking for a new book to get into I seriously recommend this one, It’s a wonderful piece of literature that you wont regret reading (and if you do at least you know).

If you’ve read it or are currently reading it I’d love to talk to you about it so leave a comment and such, we can talk about things and bond over a book.

As Always: Best of Luck,


– Miranda

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