Social Media Icons

Friday, June 5, 2020

Review: The Good Son by You-Jeong Jeong #youjeongjeong @penguinbooks #BraveTheBacklist

The Good Son 
by You-Jeong Jeong 
(translated by Chi-Young Kim)

Publisher: Penguin Books
Publish Date: June 5, 2018
309 Pages
Genre: Psychological Thriller

Who can you trust if you can't trust yourself? Early one morning, twenty-six-year-old Yu-jin wakes up to a strange metallic smell, and a phone call from his brother asking if everything's all right at home - he missed a call from their mother in the middle of the night. Yu-jin soon discovers her murdered body, lying in a pool of blood at the bottom of the stairs of their stylish Seoul duplex. He can't remember much about the night before; having suffered from seizures for most of his life, Yu-jin often has trouble with his memory. All he has is a faint impression of his mother calling his name. But was she calling for help? Or begging for her life? Thus begins Yu-jin's frantic three-day search to uncover what happened that night, and to finally learn the truth about himself and his family. A shocking and addictive psychological thriller, The Good Son explores the mysteries of mind and memory, and the twisted relationship between a mother and son, with incredible urgency.

My Review:

"The blood clots dropped off me like bird shit."

Imagine waking up stiff with blood all over your hair, clothes and room.  No memory of what happened and then find your mother dead, on the floor, throat slit.  And so we begin.  This is definitely a slow burn.  There's not a lot of dialogue and you are inside Yu-Jin's head the entire time. As a person who can be very quick to DNF a book, I'm not gonna lie... I considered it.  However, something about the writing compelled me and I wanted, no NEEDED, to see how this played out.

Being half-Korean, I love going back to my roots with the understanding of the culture and omg, the food.  When Yu-Jin sat down to a bowl of seaweed soup, well.... that's comfort food goodness there!  But I digress.... The Good Son.  I think for those who like a faster read, this one may be a difficult read for you... and I say that as someone who typically likes that faster read myself.  However, I implore you to stick with this one.  

We've seen this type of read before in thrillers - the loss of memory making an unreliable narrator.  However, with the author making this read simply between you and the Yu-Jin, mainly within the confines of his apartment and deep into the dark descent we slowly see unraveled, it's brilliantly written.  There's no shock value but you don't need it.  Pay attention to the mother/son relationship.  Pay attention to the intricacies and details of what the author is feeding you.  This read isn't about an explosive ending... it's about the journey Yu-Jin goes through in a very short time span.  Eat up, readers. 


No comments

Leave a Comment