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3,8 van de 5
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  • Mother-Daughter Dynamics

    The Last Story of Mina Lee by Nancy Jooyoun Kim is an emotional and moving tale that illustrates the realities and experiences of being an immigrant in America. This journey is told by the alternating voices of a Korean mother, during her first year in Los Angeles and by her daughter in present day. Margot Lee cannot figure out why her mother, Mina Lee, is not returning her calls. At least until she visits her childhood apartment in Koreatown, LA and finds that her mother has died; possibly suspiciously. This event has Margot digging through her single mother’s past as a Korean War orphan and an undocumented immigrant, only to realize how little she really knew about her mother. Entwined with Margot’s search is the telling of Mina’s story of her first year in the US as she travels through the promises and perils of the American myth of reinventing oneself. Barely supporting herself, stocking shelves at a Korean grocery store, Mina unexpectedly finds love with another Korean worker. Events occurring at the store accidently puts into motion events that have consequences for years to come and leading up to the truth of what actually happened to cause her death. After years of struggling to understand each other, Margot is finally getting the opportunity to truly learn who her mother really is and possibly better understand her. Ms. Kim wrote an emotional and powerful tale in her debut novel that should not be missed. She provided a tale exploring identity, family, secrets, and what it truly means to belong. I definitely recommend The Last Story of Mina Lee. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.

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  • Relationship between mother and daughter

    I enjoyed reading this book and how it unfolded, I found it a bit long but it was a good read about an woman who emigrated to the US to restart her life and leave the demons of her life Korea behind her.

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  • A good read, but...

    At the beginning of the book I thought that I had found a gem. Just a simple gesture of kindness almost made me cry. That’s how good it started it. It created an immense expectation for me. The first 65% really kept me engaged. Not even the (plenty) repetition of conversations bothered me. I did enjoy the writing and the structure. I liked reading about the struggles of a woman who escaped North Korea and immigrated to America without speaking English. I thought that the difficult relationship between a mother and daughter was well showcased but I did wish for more depth or development. I loved reading Mina’s perspectives. As for the ungrateful daughter, Margot, I thought that she was too dry and her POV was uninteresting. What ruined it for me: I thought that some events sounded too unrealistic and the ending was a disappointment.

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  • Beautifully written

    The words, the evocative language, bring the immigrant and second gen experience to life

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