Thursday, September 24, 2020

The Last Story of Mina Lee by Nancy Jooyun Kim

The Last Story of Mina Lee
by Nancy Jooyun Kim
narrated by Greta Jung

Published: 2020
Publisher: Park Row
Hardback: 384
Rating: 4
Contemporary, Mystery, Korean American | Goodreads | Website
Travel destination: Los Angeles, CA

First sentence(s):
Margot's final conversation with her mother had seemed so uneventful, so ordinary—another choppy bilingual plod. Half-understandable.

Margot Lee's mother, Mina, isn't returning her calls. It's a mystery to twenty-six-year-old Margot, until she visits her childhood apartment in Koreatown, LA, and finds that her mother has suspiciously died. The discovery sends Margot digging through the past, unraveling the tenuous invisible strings that held together her single mother's life as a Korean War orphan and an undocumented immigrant, only to realize how little she truly knew about her mother.

Interwoven with Margot's present-day search is Mina's story of her first year in Los Angeles as she navigates the promises and perils of the American myth of reinvention. While she's barely earning a living by stocking shelves at a Korean grocery store, the last thing Mina ever expects is to fall in love. But that love story sets in motion a series of events that have consequences for years to come, leading up to the truth of what happened the night of her death.

My two-bits:

The mother-daughter relationship was a constant theme in swirl.

Got me thinking of the importance of knowing (or not) family history.


* Listened to audiobook version.

* part of Reese's Book Club 2020 (here)

* part of Armchair Autumn Travel (here)
Imagination Designs
Images from: Lovelytocu