Ever since my mom died, I cry in H Mart.
Ever since my mom died, I cry in H Mart.
Ever since my mom died, I cry in H Mart.
Michelle Zauner, a Korean-American woman, reflects on her imperfect yet beautiful relationship with her mother before she passed away from cancer. She copes with grief by learning how to cook Korean dishes in hopes of reconnecting with her Korean heritage, and feeling closer to her mother. If you like books discussing love and grief, parental relationships, life as a first generation immigrant child, you will enjoy this book.
Finished the tagged and powering through 7Moons today and tomorrow!! “I WILL be a completist.”
The Zauner is for an online book club on the 8th and due back at library tomorrow 😂 I liked it and REALLY craving Korean food!
27th Feb 2023
Sweeeet! My hold at the library came thru so I can finish this before an online FB discussion in 2 weeks 🙌 #ReadICT grief category
I don‘t know how you do it, but on more than one occasion I‘ve come home after a rough day to find unexpected book mail from #LitsyLove You are all the most wonderful people, thank you so much 💌 And @AmyG , I just dropped a letter to you in the mail today, what a fun coincidence
My reading for February has slowed way down from January, but I‘m still making my way through the audio version of this. Zauner‘s writing keeps me interested in her story, and I love hearing the Korean words spoken out loud; I think it really adds to the experience. So far, this is a memoir is one I would definitely recommend. #2023reading
I really thought I would like this one, but it failed to connect with me. It was an emotional story, but I had a hard time keeping my interest
It‘s been a long time…. But this one brought me back to Litsy! Anyone who has been through significant loss, especially a parent, this book will reach down and touch your heart. I loved this memoir. 5⭐️!
Goodness gracious so good. A very intimate read and I feel honored that Michelle Zauner shared her story ❤️ Highly recommend! #LitsyLoveReads
The perfect words were chosen and written in a perfect order to display the complicated relationships and the feelings when a parent dies in such a relatable way to me.
While undoubtedly cathartic & meaningful for the author, I was left unmoved by this admittedly raw, honest, and very well-written memoir. Zauner is a good writer, one adept at invoking time & place & her descriptions of food, as many other reviewers have noted, are fantastic & liable to make you hungry. This was recommended to me by two different friends & I can see why the book spoke to them. It simply didn‘t have the same resonance for me.
In fact, she was both my first and second words: Umma, then Mom. I called her I two languages. Even then I must have known that no one would ever love me as much as she would.
"You don't need many ingredients, but as you can see it takes time. That's why jatjuk is very precious. Like, for example, one of your family members is sick, nothing much you can do. When we visit the hospital we usually make this jatjuk because patients can't eat like normal food. Pine nuts has protein and good fat for body so this is perfect food for patients who are recovering from their illness," Maangchi explained.
I closed my eyes, leaning into it, channeling my best Karen Carpenter- that tiny, tragic figure. That starving woman in the yellow dress, slowly crumbling under the pressure to seem happy for the camera, slowly killing herself on live television, striving for perfection.
Lovely was an adjective word my mother adored. She'd told me once if pressed to describe me in a single word, lovely would be the one she'd choose.
With my mother's ring on my right hand I felt like a five-year-old in a full face of makeup. I twisted it back and forth, trying to get comfortable, it's facets glistened in the light of breaking dawn, oversized and out of place on my undiscerning finger. It felt heavy.
"When you were a child, you always used to cling to me. Everywhere we went," my mother whispered, struggling to get the words out. "And now that you're older, here you are - still clinging to me."
There was no one in the world that was ever as critical or could make me feel as hideous as my mother, but there was no one, not even Peter, who ever made me feel as beautiful.
We had tried to choose living over dying and it had turned out to be a horrible mistake. We drank another round, tried to let it wash us over.
The eye of the storm, a calm witness to the wreckage spinning out into its end.
Something that was always in the hands of other people to be given and never my own to take, to decide which side I was on, whom I was allowed to align with. I could never be of both worlds, only half in and half out, waiting to be ejected at will by someone with greater claim than me. Someone full. Someone whole.
Now, more than ever, I wished desperately for a way to transfer pain, wished I could prove to my mother just how much I loved her, that I could just crawl into her hospital cot and press my body close enough to absorb her burden.
I would be everything she ever needed. I would make her sorry for ever not wanting me to be there. I would be the perfect daughter.
I found myself in a strange state of ambivalence. My first thought being how do I get to do that, and second, if there's already one Asian girl doing this, then there's no longer space for me.
A familiar itch was creeping in. That aching toward something wild - when the days get longer and a walk through the city becomes entirely pleasant from morning to night, when you want to run down an empty street in sneakers and fling all responsibility to the wayside. But for the first time it felt like an impulse I needed to turn away from.
Like food, beauty was an integral part of her culture. Nowadays. South Korea has the highest rate of cosmetic surgery in the world, with an estimated one in three women in their twenties having undergone some type of procedure, and the seeds of that circumstance run deep in the language and mores of the country.
Some of my earliest memories I can recall are of my mother instructing me to always "save ten percent of yourself." What she meant was that, no matter how much you thought you loved someone, or thought they loved you, you never gave all of yourself. Save 10 percent, always, so there was something to fall back on.
Food was how my mother expressed her love. No matter how critical or cruel she could seem - constantly pushing me to meet her intractable expectations - I could always feel her affection radiating from the lunches she packed and the meals she prepared for me just the way I liked them. I can hardly speak Korean, but in H Mart it feels like I'm fluent.
Poignant and sad. Loved the description of Korean foods, a passion she shared with her mother.
This was my #bookspin this month !
So, I didn't know this book was about a girl's mom dying of Cancer - suuuuper depressing. That said, it's not ALL about her mom dying of Cancer. It's about their bond and culture and the unique ways in which the daughter attempts to keep that alive after her mother's death. It's an honest memoir that reminds us that family dynamics aren't always what they seem and a reminder to enjoy the time we have.
The writing is good and the foodie in me enjoyed all of the Korean fare described. The so-so rating is because memoir is a genre I rarely enjoy unless the author‘s experience is exceptional. Too often it feels like therapy. I read this was originally an essay and I think it is likely better suited to that form.
I will say Zauner does capture the complicated nature of parent-child relationships and caring for a loved one actively dying.
Memoir is probably my least favorite genre, and I‘m always suspicious of hype, but goodness, this one delivered. Even though I lost my mom to cancer 15 years ago, this one still had me crying. I still keep Mama‘s recipe box and this was such a beautiful melding of cooking and grief. ALL the feels and terrific writing here…and I didn‘t realize the author was also a bonafide pop star until halfway through.
I didn't connect with this book. I usually enjoy memoirs but maybe this one was too built up based on all the hype. As someone who enjoys Asian food, I did enjoy all the food references.
This book is making me hungry.
It was July, and we'd ordered patbingsu to share to stave off the humidity.... its base a perfect soft powder of snow slathered in sweet red beans and garnished with pristinely cut strawberries, perfect squares of ripe mango, and little cushions of multicolored rice cakes. A fine web of condensed milk drizzled over the sides, and vanilla soft serve towered high on top.
I finally have time to join the book club at my workplace. Woot! This is the selection next month. I‘m not too keen on memoirs, but I‘m going to give it a go.🤞🏾
So good. Quick airplane read, although not my favorite place to get little teary-eyed. Related with with this author and story from everything to H mart shaping centers, Seoul, geography of the book, sense if place, parental death, generational significants more than the word, 'millennial'.
Beautifully written memoir about Michelle‘s relationship with her mother, and food. I‘m looking forward to my book club discussion on this one. I will say though, I‘m super intrigued by her as a person. I‘m curious about her band, Japanese Breakfast, which is playing a half an hour from me at the end of the month. I‘m not a big concert goer but I‘m curious to listen to her albums this week. I wish she included pictures but I did find some online.
Got kid #2 moved into the dorm yesterday. Enjoying some reading time on the hotel patio while hubby watches the F1 race.
My September reading list.
Zauner‘s memoir about the loss of her mother is honest and deftly portrays the messier parts of family, mother/daughter dynamics, and grief. It‘s well-written and I loved the descriptions of how food underscored her relationship/memories with her mother. However, it just didn‘t impact me like some other “grief memoirs” have. I think Zauner‘s experience and writing was better captured in her 2018 New Yorker essay from which this book was based. 3⭐️
Well written memoir about loss and the challenges of balancing cultures. This book is focused around food and it made me want to eat so much!
I made decent progress during #jubilantjuly by finishing two books and starting “Crying in H Mart.” I read Verity in one day, so that felt like a #bookspin win! I‘m going on a mini trip this weekend, so should be able to finish up my July goals. 😀
This was mostly about her relationship with her mom and the immense loss she felt after she was gone, and she coped.
A very sad yet beautiful story of a young woman‘s life and the death of her Korean mother. Her Korean heritage, the food, her Korean relatives, plays a huge part in this book. I had no clue who she was until page 229 when I read she is the singer/founder of Japanese Breakfast…what? 🙌🏻🤣
I loved this. I‘ve read a spate of novels (and now this memoir) of young Asian women losing their mothers lately - and they added something extra to reading this. A layering effect of different experiences. This one is so raw and honest - having been alongside my step sisters terminal illness I appreciate that. Lots of insight into having a mixed heritage here too and how that adds complication into the relationship with an immigrant parent.