Book Club Kits
Please Look After Mom
by Shin, Kyung-Sook
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1. Moms life has been defined by her relationships to others and the needs of her family. When her daughter asks her, Did you like to cook? how does Moms reply summarize the divide between her own and her daughters generations (p. 57)? How is the generational gap between you and your parents, and/or you and your children, at all similar to, or different from, this one?
2. Weeks after his wife disappears, her husband discovers that for ten years she has been giving a substantial amount of money --- money their children send her each month ---to an orphanage where she has taken on many responsibilities (pp. 11621). How does the husband react to this and other surprising discoveries about her life?
3. Do you think Moms husband and children would have been able to help her if they had paid her and her illness more attention? Or, given her aversion to the hospital and the way she hid her sickness, was what happens to her inevitable?
4. Discuss the return of Mom as storyteller and narrator in the fourth section. What is inventive about this choice on the authors part? What surprised you --- and what remained a mystery
5. How does Moms feeling for her younger daughter differ from her feeling for Chi-hon? Why was she able to be more attached to the younger daughter than the elder one (pp. 180-85)? How is the use of the second person here --- Mom addressing her daughter as you --- different from the use of second person in chapters 1 and 3?
6. What do her children and husband discover about Moms life only after she disappears? How do her actions express her generosity and benevolence? Do you see some of her activities as ways of seeking self-fulfillment? Was she, through giving to others, taking care of herself?
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