Sunday 16 June 2024

Book Review: Memento Mori by Eunice Hong (Contemporary Fiction)

Memento Mori
Eunice Hong
Red Hen Press
13 August 2024
256
eBook - PDF
Contemporary Fiction
ARC via NetGalley

Don’t look back.

Did Eurydice want to return from the underworld? Did anybody ask?

In this brilliant portrait of rage and resilience, a Korean woman tries to connect with her younger brother and grapple with family tragedy through bedtime stories that weave together Greek mythology, neuroscience, and tales from their grandmother’s slipping memory.

Recasting the myths of Eurydice, Orpheus, Persephone, and Hades through the lens of a Korean American family, Eunice Hong’s debut novel offers a moving and darkly funny exploration of grief, love, and the inescapability of death.


Memento Mori was a stunning work that wove myth retellings through the tale of a young woman grappling with grief and loss as her family sought to deal with a tragedy that had a deep impact on them all. The prose was easy reading on the one hand but full of emotional impact at the same time. The segmented flow of the story also contributed to the feeling of disruption and disjointedness and helped to highlight the narrator's disordered mind as she tried to make sense of everything that had happened to her. It is a fairly stark story and the subject matter may not be for everyone, but I recommend it to readers looking for a raw portrayal of grief told in a lyrical, captivating way. I am giving it 4.5 stars.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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