The Last Story of Mina Lee is a wonderful mother/daughter tale, and so much more! It also tackles immigration and the disconnect that some first generation (in this case) Americans have with their immigrant parents. Margot is mostly embarrassed by her mother, Mina, and really doesn’t understand why she works all the time and won’t learn English. So, when she leaves Koreatown LA for Seattle to attend school, she doesn’t look back. It’s only when her mother dies under mysterious circumstances that Margot begins to unravel the story of a woman who she comes to know more in death than she ever did in life.
Reasons I like this book:
It’s very character driven
Mina and Margot each tell their story through their own voice
Very immersive writing — I felt “in” the places she was writing about
The mystery of Mina’s death brought a lot to the story
Book Quote: “Her daughter would never understand why she couldn’t make the time to learn a language that would never accept her—especially at her age now. What would be the point? She was in her sixties and couldn’t find a job anywhere except at a swap meet or at a restaurant in Koreatown. She didn’t know a single English language speaker except for her daughter, who only visited once per year. What was the point of learning a language that brought you into the fold of a world that didn’t want you? Did this world want her? No. It didn’t like the sound of her voice.”
Rating: 4 stars
Similar books you’ll enjoy: Shelter by Jung Yun, If You Leave Me by Crystal Hana Kim
Thank you to HarperCollins Canada for a copy of this book. Views are my own.