Review: The Last Story of Mina Lee

The Last Story of Mina Lee


Margot Lee’s mother, Mina, isn’t returning her calls. It’s a mystery to twenty-six-year-old Margot, until she visits her childhood apartment in Koreatown, LA, and finds that her mother has suspiciously died. The discovery sends Margot digging through the past, unraveling the tenuous invisible strings that held together her single mother’s life as a Korean War orphan and an undocumented immigrant, only to realize how little she truly knew about her mother.

Interwoven with Margot’s present-day search is Mina’s story of her first year in Los Angeles as she navigates the promises and perils of the American myth of reinvention. While she’s barely earning a living by stocking shelves at a Korean grocery store, the last thing Mina ever expects is to fall in love. But that love story sets in motion a series of events that have consequences for years to come, leading up to the truth of what happened the night of her death.

Rating: 4-stars


The Last Story of Mina Lee by Nancy Jooyoun Kin is a great tale of immigrants to the United States. The hardships the faced, the cruelty, the loss and fears could be felt on every page. It’s a heartbreaking read. Family, immigration, and love come together in this entertaining story. The characters were believable. The pacing was mostly steady but slow in some spots. Other than that, this was an enjoyable journey. Past and present moments make for a good read, especially here. There are not many books featuring Korean immigrants and I was really pleased with this book. It was a treasure reading it. The cast of characters have a powerful way of keeping my full-attention. I was hooked into their story. Overall, I liked it.

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