If you’re looking for a book that will absolutely rip your heart into a million pieces and occupy your mind long after finishing it, look no further.
Michelle Zauner recounts her experiences growing up Korean-American, the death of her mother, and the uncertainties she faced while paving her own path in this world. She masterfully centers the memoir around food, which was not only her mother’s love language, but also something that bonds her to her mother and culture.
Her prose is like a warm hug. It is tender, brave, and parts of it read like pages of her diary - almost too intrusive and too personal for a stranger to be reading. Zauner’s writing is universal and will touch you deeply, almost in a way you aren’t expecting, even if you have not experienced a major loss in your life.
The writing is so personal, it as if we as readers are right there with her as she packs up her life on the East Coast and moves back to her childhood home to take care of her mother. She chronicles this excruciating time in her life so beautifully, as she reclaims her identity and heritage through music and food.
I was drawn to this story for a myriad of reasons, but was initially pulled in by the dynamic between Michelle and her mother. Their relationship was complicated and complex (as are many relationships children have with their mothers), and I loved reading about it.
I’m so glad I was able to buddy read and discuss this book weekly with my best friend, as this memoir was particularly heavy, emotional, and evocative. Reading a few chapters at a time and talking through the book each week made it easier to process the emotions that came with each section of it.
This is an absolutely exceptionally written memoir and one I would certainly recommend to others. Please check the content warnings before reading.