Shelter by Jung Yun [in Library Journal]
Faced with financial crisis, college professor Kyung Cho and his wife, Gillian, are considering selling their overmortgaged home. During the initial realtor meeting, the couple discovers Kyung’s mother wandering disoriented and naked beyond their backyard.
Kyung misunderstands his mother’s garbled Korean – the language she reverts to in shock although she’s fluent in English – and concludes that she’s been battered by his father again. But when he enters his parents’ impeccable manse-on-the-hill seeking answers, he’s shattered to find that his parents and their housekeeper are the victims of a heinous crime.
As the extended Korean Irish American family attempts to reclaim their fractured lives, Kyung’s decades-long suppressed rage at his abusive father and submissive mother threatens to destroy any semblance of resolution and recovery. Amid ramshackle houses and pristine abodes, finding true shelter is an elusive challenge for all.
Verdict: So wowed was Picador with Yun’s debut novel that hundreds of extra galleys were printed to share with colleagues. How prescient indeed, because like Celeste Ng’s superlauded best seller, Everything I Never Told You – also about a dysfunctional mixed-race family’s tragedy – this work should find itself on best-of lists, among major award nominations, and in eager readers’ hands everywhere.
Published: 2016 (United States)