Top positive review
Magical Realism dealing with loss, grief, abuse, and more
Reviewed in the United States on May 12, 2021
Elsa is a physicist studying in Antarctica when she unexpectedly starts seeing her childhood imaginary friend again. Soon after, she learns that her mother has passed away, so she must return to her childhood home of California. Could it be that this imaginary friend is actually a ghost related to her mother in some way? Elsa tries to search for answers by uncovering her mother's secrets and dealing with her other family members.
I'm having a difficult time putting together thoughts for this book. It is an incredible perspective of a Korean American woman and how her experience has shaped her views and her life. It also explores dealing with grief, loss, abuse, and generational trauma. Much of this is explored through Korean folktales that Elsa's mother left behind that tie into a magical realism component of the story. There is a lot going on and it's at times can be a heavy read, but also very beautifully written. I don't think I've ever read such a genuine and believable perspective before; Elsa just felt so real.
I recommend if you enjoy magical realism tales that cover heavy topics and connects you to characters in a way that has you feel the same emotions.