Welcome to a new feature that we are both really excited about! Emily’s dad, Art, is a former reporter and avid reader and is going to start posting reviews on our blog every so often! He is greatly responsible for Emily’s love of reading and we are so excited for him to join us for some reviews!
Thirteen days after the 1991 beating of Rodney King, a 15-year-old African American girl was fatally shot by a Korean store owner. Many people believe this shooting — and the trial which resulted in no jail time — was an underlying cause of the 1992 LA riots and a reason Korean-owned stores were targeted in the violence.
Steph Cha, a Barnes and Noble Great New Writers Pick, has built an historical fiction novel around the killing. Her work, which was on more than a dozen lists of most anticipated books of the year, is a wonder. Just as she did in her earlier Juniper Song mystery series, Cha captures the essence of being a young Korean woman growing up in Los Angles, the conflicts with her immigrant parents and their diverging cultures. Unlike “American Dirt,” this is a strong Korean woman writing about what it is like to be Korean and grow up in Los Angeles.
Cha’s Koreatown view of LA is one we haven’t seen before. Her characters are vibrant, and her storyline is strong as she lays a foundation for a new generation of mystery writers.
Grace Park is a young pharmacist, working in her parents’ store. She doesn’t know her mother fatally shot a teen-aged girl in 1991. She is sheltered, less worldly than her younger sister, but concerned about the police shooting of an African American youth.
Shawn Matthews is the brother of the girl who was killed in 1991. He spent some time in street gangs and in jail, but he has found himself, has a young child, a woman he loves and a steady job. He doesn’t know his sister’s killer is still living nearby under a new name.
But the Park and Matthews families will soon intersect amid the new tensions of today’s LA. The city’s violent history and its violent present are the backdrop as the two families search for understanding and a bit of justice. Five Stars.
What About You?
Have you read Your House Will Pay? What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments!