Restaurants and markets serve as settings through crucial moments in the book: Shopping with her mother at Sunrise Market, her argument with her mother as a teenager at Cafe Seoul, sobbing in the dining room at Marché after her mother’s funeral. As much as Crying in H Mart is a story about love and grief, it is a story about the way food behaves like a common language when words are insufficient; how it ties us to people we’ve lost.

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