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May 12, 2021CCCL_TeresaR rated this title 5 out of 5 stars
Michelle Zauner wrote an essay for the New Yorker in 2018 about her deceased mother, Chongmi. It is a wonderful essay and it convinced me to get a copy of this book for consideration for our County-wide reading program. In the book the author, still raw from her loss, fills the pages with despair. As I continued slowly reading it, I began to see the artist appear from the ashes. When she pursues the recipes her mother had prepared for her, she draws upon the memories of the taste, texture and smell surrounding those times. Those memories of cherished flavors and scents of food extends to the lotions and sunscreens her mother had lining her personal space. One of my favorite parts of this book is the discovery of a trove of childhood photos stashed in the kimchi refrigerator. Zauner understands the depth of her mother’s love for her through them. She especially loves the imperfect images, the pictures taken to complete the roll of film before processing, crooked and with eyes closed. Not long after, the artist emerges in full when her music career is revived through new songs inspired by Chongmi. That success leads to a tour of Asia and reconnection with her family and the food she loves. Did her mother hold back 10% just for herself? I don’t think so. She left behind a legacy of memories for her daughter, and that seems like 100% love to me. Thanks to both #netgalley and #edelweiss for providing this book for my honest review.