October 1, 2021
Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner
Genre/Categories: Nonfiction, Memoir, Korean-American, Grief, Mothers/Daughters, Family Life
*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
Michelle Zauner shares about her Korean-American family, her childhood and young adult years, bonding over food, her relationship with her mother, and the grief of losing her mother to cancer.
I imagine you’ve seen Crying in H Mart on lots of lists lately! I fall hard for thoughtful memoirs, diverse stories, and family drama. There’s a great deal of buzz around Crying in H Mart, so I succumbed to the FOMO.
Although this is a story of loss and grief, I love the honest reflections, the descriptions of food shared, the memories triggered while grocery shopping, and various cultural aspects of the story. If I can’t relate to Michelle’s love for certain Korean food and traditions, I find it easy to connect her food story with my own cultural and family experiences.
This is a more extensive memoir than I had expected from the title. Thoughtful and poignant themes include family dynamics, mother/daughter relationships, loss, grief, cultural expectations, finding your voice, returning home as a young adult to care for a terminal parent, understanding, and reconciliation.
I knew this would be sad going in, but the angst of the mother/daughter relationship and grief made this a difficult read for me. Overall, I appreciate the insight into growing up Korean-American, all the cultural aspects, and Michelle’s transparency and lack of judgement while telling her story.
Recommended for fans of memoirs (especially from a culturally diverse perspective), for Korean-American readers, and for those who appreciate a thoughtful and reflective story of family dynamics and grief.
Content Considerations: grief, loss of a mother. cancer, general tone of sadness
My Rating: 3 Stars
Crying in H Mart Information Here
Meet the Author, Michelle Zauner
Michelle Zauner is best known as a singer and guitarist who creates dreamy, shoegaze-inspired indie pop under the name Japanese Breakfast. She has won acclaim from major music outlets around the world for releases like Psychopomp (2016) and Soft Sounds from Another Planet (2017). Her forthcoming album Jubilee will be released in June 2021. Her first book is Crying in H Mart, out now.
Is Crying in H Mart on your TBR or have you read it?
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Sounds like a very emotional read Carol!
It is Nicki.
I have seen this on lots of lists lately. While I do like a thoughtful memoir and learning about other cultures, I was concerned it would be too emotional for me and your review confirmed it!
It was the mother/daughter relationship that was the hardest to read about.
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Sounds like a good story, I never seem to care enough to read memoirs though
Some are great, otters are meh.
Memoirs can be amazing! Great review.
I had not heard of this book Carol, but it sounds like a poignant and emotional read. Losing both my parents to cancer, I’m not sure if this would be for me or not. Nice, thoughtful review.
Thanks Carla! Yeah….it might be best to skip this one! I felt meh about it anyway!
From the title and cover I thought this was a contemporary
I have been reading more culturally diverse memoirs lately. This one has just gone on my TBR.
Culturally it’s very interesting! Enjoy!
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