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  • Writer's pictureJuliana Aira Gabrillo

Book Review: Crying in H Mart

Crying in H-Mart is a book that was first published in April of 2021. This book is a memoir to the author’s mother, and her relationship with her mother. This book made me realize how thankful and lucky I am for having a mother that looks out for me 10 steps ahead, and how much my mother cares about me even if you’re the most misunderstood person ever.

In this book she explains how shopping at H Mart brought her mother back to her but still made her loss a terrible sting. In the book she mentions, “you’ll likely find me crying by the banchan refrigerators, remembering the taste of my mom’s soy sauce eggs.” This line in the book alone makes me reminisce to the time when I went to a Filipino canteen, and seeing all the food displayed on metal trays made me remember my grandma, and how she used to run a canteen like that back in the days.

The author, Zauner, connects the idea of food and identity in this book. With the loss of her mother, Zauner also lost her connection to Korean culture. This whole book centers on Zauner's relationship with her mother. The chapters in this book move back and forth between the death of her mother and then back to Zauner’s childhood memories.

Zauner describes her mother as a stern woman, and a woman that always will look out and find the best for their child. When Zauner was a teenager, she drifted away from her culture. But when she established a relationship and started embracing her mother’s culture, her mother died. She stated, “What would have been the most fruitful years of understanding were cut violently short.”

Reading this book made me realize that I’m lucky to have a mother. After reading this book, I gave my mom a hug, and told her that I’m grateful for having her as my mother. A mother will always correct you for the smallest mistakes, they will always be there for you no matter what, and they will always find what is best for you. Mothers can be your huge critics, but they do that in a good way.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this book to anyone, especially to those who love reading memoirs. This was my first ever book that I’ve read out of curiosity. I plan to read even more books just like this one.

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