Thursday, July 15, 2021

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner


Click here to purchase from Amazon
This memoir has gotten a lot of buzz in the book industry the past few months, but that didn't make me want to read it. I happened to watch CBS' Sunday morning news and they interviewed Michelle Zauner. That did the trick. Then I had to read it, and luckily it was 50% off at B&N so I snagged it. 

Michelle's mother is Korean, and Michelle's father is white. She grew up feeling a bit lost in between, but absolutely loved all of the Korean foods, stories, and family history her mother shared with her. Very rocky teen years full of rebellion and depression created a wedge between Michelle and her mother that was hard to overcome. 

The news that her mother had cancer rocked Michelle's world, and she promptly packed her bags and flew back to Eugene, Oregon to help care for her during treatment. 

This memoir is about Michelle's grief, and how she climbed out of it with the help of her boyfriend Peter, her Korean family, and her memories of her mother. So many regrets, to be sure. But also gratitude for all her mother taught her about her Korean roots, resilience, and the importance of family-whether it's the one you are born into, or the one you make. 

I absolutely loved all of the Korean food descriptions and how many memories came from those special dishes. Michelle's grief is heartbreaking and anyone who has gone through losing a parent understands completely her highs and lows. 

Michelle Zauner is also well known for her musical abilities--she's the lead singer in the band Japanese Breakfast, which is getting a lot of buzz, too. 

I found this a thoughtful and touching memoir from a woman who takes ownership  for her part in a loving but oftentimes difficult mother-daughter relationship. 

Rating: 4/6 for a memoir about loving and losing a parent, and the gifts they leave behind. 

Available in hardcover, ebook, and audio. Michelle's band Japanese Breakfast has albums available on iTunes, Amazon, and other music stores.

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