A REESE'S BOOK CLUB PICK
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
'I loved this book so much' REESE WITHERSPOON
In 1987, Mina Lee flies from Seoul to Los Angeles to start a new life.
Thirty years later, Margot Lee speaks to her mother for the last time.
Between these two moments extends a lifetime of secrets. These are stories of unexpected loves and devastating losses. Of choices made and those left behind. Of a mother and daughter who have always struggled to understand each other.
These are stories waiting to be told, before it's too late.
Reminiscent of Celeste Ng's page-turning meditations on identity, this searing mother-daughter story explores the diverse and unsettling realities of being an immigrant in America.
'Suspenseful and deeply felt... raises questions about the reality of the American dream and illuminates stories that often go untold' CHLOE BENJAMIN
'Painful, joyous... A story that cries out to be told' LA TIMES
'Carefully illuminates the two sides of the silence between a Korean immigrant mother and her Korean American daughter, a silence only too familiar to many of us - and emerges with a stunningly powerful and original novel' ALEXANDER CHEE
'A timely, important novel... Fans of Celeste Ng won't be able to put down this heartfelt, cross-generational novel about the powerful bond and fragility of family and what it really means to strive for the "American dream"' POPSUGAR
Readers fell in love with Margot and Mina...
'Beautifully rendered. Achingly sweet. Enjoyable story with wonderfully realistic characters that you want to follow'
'An emotionally gripping story of loss and belonging'
'I LOVED THIS BOOK'
'This book is filled with wonderful characters, a story to please and mouth-watering Korean food'
'It speaks to all women who have been marginalized by their families or society at large'
In Kim's uneven debut, an unexpected death highlights both the rifts and the bonds in a mother-daughter relationship. Margot Lee, 26, figures she'll stop in for an overdue visit with her mother, Mina, while she's in Los Angeles helping a coworker relocate from Seattle. At the house, she finds her mother dead. The death was ruled accidental, but the circumstances gradually appear more suspicious as Margot uncovers Mina's mementos and learns about her mother's secrets, both long-buried and more recent. Margot's investigations alternate with (and in some cases, awkwardly parallel) the story of Mina's 1987 arrival in Los Angeles's Koreatown, having fled Korea in the wake of a personal tragedy. Mina's immigration story poignantly mingles optimism with the heartbreak of exploitation. The more contemporary portions of the narrative, however, lack both emotional pull and narrative conviction. Margot's characterization feels flat, and her supposed artistic aspirations lack any sort of passion or urgency. Most problematic, however, is the mystery plot, which hinges not only on a series of fairly implausible coincidences but also on some unconvincing police work. As a personal immigration narrative Kim's novel largely succeeds, but as a mystery novel or a mother-daughter drama it fails to connect.