A Breakfast Review: Crying In H Mart


Crying In H Mart by Michelle Zauner is a 239 page memoir, telling of the author’s life during the time of her mother’s death. This book is appropriate for middle and high schoolers, although adults would also find the book intriguing and touching.

Crying In H Mart revolves around Zauner’s emotions and seemingly out-of-control life while her mother is slowly dying of cancer. The story jumps back and forth between her life while her mother is dying and flashbacks of her childhood with her mother. Zauner explains the complicated relationship with her parents, and how deeply her mother influenced her. She talks about how stern and reprimanding her mom was, but also how close she was to her. 

Their clashing personalities at the beginning of the book beautifully intertwine into a bittersweet relationship as the story progresses. Heartfelt and heavy dialogue permeate Zauner’s writing. Every reader will be impacted by the way she depicts her changing awareness with her mother.  “I wanted to cry with her, at this image I too did not recognize, this giant physical manifestation of evil that had entered our lives.”

I enjoyed this book for various reasons. The heavy, realistic aspect of the book made the message and story connect very well with me. The easy and lighthearted writing style with frequent comedic relief supplies a needed break from the sorrows of her tale. However, as the story progresses, Zauner’s writing pace slows down, and it loses some of the power it had in the first part of the book. Despite this, the book ended on a very satisfying note and conveyed numerous powerful messages. It made me appreciative that I have not lost a close family member throughout my life. Overall, I would rate this book a 4 out of 5 stars due to Zauner’s personality, writing, and storytelling. The sudden change in pace disrupted the original flow of the book but was otherwise entertaining.

Crying In H Mart provides a real-life story of a young woman losing her mother to cancer. The complicated dynamics and the dialogue selections elevated this book from a regular retelling of someone’s life to an engaging and sincere tale. If you enjoyed this book, many of John Green’s books such as Looking For Alaska and The Fault In Our Stars will likely interest you. If anyone reading this is going through any similar hardships, I would recommend this book to you in hopes of relating to Zauner’s thoughts, emotions, and regrets.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐