Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Review: Trail of Crumbs: Hunger, Love, and the Search for Home by Kim Sunee

About the Book: At a South Korean marketplace, three-year-old Kim Sunee's mother deposits her on a bench with a fistful of food and a promise to return. Three days later, a policeman takes the little girl and what is now a fistful of crumbs to a police station, where she learns that her mother isn't coming back. From here, her extraordinary life journey begins. Adopted by a young New Orleans couple, Kim spends her youth as one of only two Asian children in her entire school and church. At the age of 21, she becomes involved with a famous French businessman, and suddenly finds herself living in France, mistress over his houses and stepmother to his eight-year-old daughter. But despite this glamorous lifestyle, Kim feels like an outsider, and it is in food and cooking that she finds solace and a sense of place.

My Review: Don't read this book if a) you don't want to feel your heart ache with longing and homelessness or b) you're hungry

Which should pretty well sum up how beautifully crafted this memoir is. The motif of hunger for homelessness (by which I mean spiritual homelessness, not physical homelessness) is woven throughout every page of the story. And that fast food you just ate? It's not going to satisfy once you read about the wonderful French cuisine in this book.

The writing is exquisite, the little details of life in France are enjoyable (I used to want to live in France very much...I would still do it, if I could) and the food just sounds SO delicious. But it's impossible not to feel what Kim feels..this memoir is very raw, very honest in ways I'm not sure I could ever be!

It's interesting, because at one point, Kim gets the opportunity to go to Korea, which is the land of her birth. They go in February, to Seoul. Years ago, when I worked in Japan, I also went to Seoul in February and it was freezing!! And I went with a friend, who like Kim, was born in Korea, adopted by an American family and had no idea about her roots in Korea. I thought of her often while reading this book. But you don't have to have been adopted to relate to the search for home and a place to belong.

I also thought it was interesting that she got really sick when they went to Hong Kong. I went to Hong Kong once, and remember thinking the air was really oppressive and wondering it was healthy to breathe it. But it is a fabulous and interesting place...I'd love to go back someday.

I highly recommend this memoir. It's gorgeously written and captivating on every page.

Rating: 4.5/5



Shelley L. MacKenzie said...

Sounds like a great book!

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Trail of Crumbs is another on my list. So happy to see you enjoyed it; great review too.

bermudaonion said...

Wow! I can't wait to read this one now.

Lynda said...

Another book for the list ....... ;0)

LadyVampire2u said...

Such a wonderful review. I'll definitely keep an eye out for this book.
On a side note, I wanted to let you know that I tagged you on my blog over at .

caite said...

Sounds very interesting. A friend of my niece was adopted from Korea as an infant and I often wondered if she had a desire to visit Korea someday, although I don't think that she ever voiced any interest as of this point.
Nice review...

Ana S. said...

This sounds like something I'd love. To the wishlist it goes!

S. Krishna said...

This book sounds amazing, thanks for the review!

Holly (2 Kids and Tired) said...

Terrific review. This one looks great. I've definitely added it to my list.

Amy said...

Shelley--it is!
Diane--hope you enjoy it when you get to it
Kathy--can't wait for your review!
The Holistic Knitter--:) I think you'd like it.
Caite--how old is she? It might take some time, or she may never be interested.
Nymeth--I hope you enjoy it if you get a chance to read it!
S.Krishna--I'm pretty sure you'd like it!
Holly--it's a good one! :)

Anonymous said...

I adore well-written personal memoir (as opposed to celebrity-type memoir). I'll be adding this to my wish list ... thanks, Amy!

Sandee61 said...

This sounds like a wonderful read...I'm adding it to my wish list. Thanks for the interesting review.



avisannschild said...

This books was already on my radar but your review has made me want to read it more!

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