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Trail of Crumbs: Hunger, Love and the Search for Home    by Kim Sunée order for
Trail of Crumbs
by Kim Sunée
Order:  USA  Can
Grand Central, 2008 (2008)

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* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

In Trail of Crumbs, Kim Sunée journals her search for her place in the world. Born in South Korea and abandoned at the age of three on a street corner in Seoul, she was adopted and brought to the United States by an American couple. Always feeling out of place, she and her adopted sister were the only slant-eyed children in her world.

Sunée was loved deeply by her adopted grandfather who introduced her to the wonderful world of food. In addition to writing poetry, she became an accomplished cook - both skills where she could be creative and explore her own inner depths.

At age twenty-two, while living in France, Kim Sunée met a wealthy Frenchman ten years her senior. Separated but not divorced, Olivier was the father of a young girl. When she realized he was literally controlling her life, Sunée left him. Still a young woman, she started pursuing her own interests.

Gently written, gracefully catalogued, Trail of Crumbs is a book of delights as well as introspections. It's the self-told tale of a young woman still looking for where she is meant to be, one who has traveled extensively to find her roots. A real bonus, along with the lyrical tale, are recipes the author has collected over the years. Her descriptions of foods she has seen in open-air markets are unparalleled - she might have been looking at paintings of world-famous artists.

Of Trail of Crumbs, Frances Mayes writes: 'This coming-of-age memoir is brave, emotional and gorgeously written.' And I have to agree with Laura Fraser's take on this must-read book: 'Kim Sunée's poetic memoir is like a piece of dark chocolate – bittersweet, satisfying, and finished all too soon.'

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