The Last Story of Mina Lee

🐞 🐞 🐞


Nancy Jooyoun Kim

Park Row

September 8, 2020

386 Pages


Margot hasn’t heard from her mother, Mina, in over two weeks, and she’s worried. Since she’s planned on helping her friend move from Portland to Los Angeles anyway, she decides to make a surprise visit to her mom while she’s in town. But when she arrives at their old apartment, she’s shocked to find her mother lying on the kitchen floor, dead, her body lifeless for at least a week or more. At first it seems like an open and shut case: her mother fell, hit her head, and died from the resulting hematoma. But as Margot begins sifting through the few documents her mother possesses, she realizes there is so much more to Mina’s story than she ever knew…and things are a whole lot more complicated than Margot originally thought.


This is a very slow-moving whodunnit-type story. The book is told in alternating chapters, first from Margot’s present-day perspective as she’s trying to uncover the facts of her mother’s life, then from her mother’s perspective 30 years prior during the summer she first moved to LA. While I enjoyed learning about Mina’s life and watching all the twists unfold, the book moved too slowly and was too tragic, in my opinion. There was almost nothing positive about Mina’s life. It truly was hardship after hardship after hardship, with no insight, hope, or “lessons learned” moments thrown in. Life isn’t always rosy, I get it, but it’s tough to read 400 pages of straight tragedy. I got through the story, but I was more than happy to be done with it.

Thank you to Amazon Vine and Park Row for the ARC.

Find this book on Goodreads and Amazon.

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