Cover image for Your house will pay : a novel
Title:
Your house will pay : a novel
ISBN:
9780062868855
Edition:
1st ed.
Physical Description:
304 pages ; 24 cm.
Summary:
In the wake of the police shooting of a black teenager, Los Angeles is as tense as it's been since the unrest of the early 1990s. But Grace Park and Shawn Matthews have their own problems. Grace is sheltered and largely oblivious, living in the Valley with her Korean-immigrant parents, working long hours at the family pharmacy. She's distraught that her sister hasn't spoken to their mother in two years, for reasons beyond Grace's understanding. Shawn has already had enough of politics and protest after an act of violence shattered his family years ago. He just wants to be left alone to enjoy his quiet life in Palmdale. But when another shocking crime hits LA, both the Park and Matthews families are forced to face down their history while navigating the tumult of a city on the brink of more violence.
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Summary

Summary

"[A] suspense-filled page-turner." --Viet Thanh Nguyen, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for The Sympathizer

"A touching portrait of two families bound together by a split-second decision." --Attica Locke, Edgar-Award winning author of Bluebird, Bluebird

A Best Book of the Year

Wall Street Journal / Chicago Tribune / Buzzfeed / South Florida Sun-Sentinel / Book Riot / LitHub / BOLO Books

A powerful and taut novel about racial tensions in Los Angeles, following two families--one Korean-American, one African-American--grappling with the effects of a decades-old crime

In the wake of the police shooting of a black teenager, Los Angeles is as tense as it's been since the unrest of the early 1990s. But Grace Park and Shawn Matthews have their own problems. Grace is sheltered and largely oblivious, living in the Valley with her Korean-immigrant parents, working long hours at the family pharmacy. She's distraught that her sister hasn't spoken to their mother in two years, for reasons beyond Grace's understanding. Shawn has already had enough of politics and protest after an act of violence shattered his family years ago. He just wants to be left alone to enjoy his quiet life in Palmdale.

But when another shocking crime hits LA, both the Park and Matthews families are forced to face down their history while navigating the tumult of a city on the brink of more violence.


Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

Based on a true case, Cha's ambitious tale of race, identity, and murder delivers on the promise of her Juniper Song mysteries (Dead Soon Enough, etc.). Racial tensions in Los Angeles are at a boiling point following the police shooting of a black teenager, and 27-year-old Grace Park, who lives with her Korean immigrant parents, shares the sense of outrage felt by many. Her sheltered world is suddenly shattered when her mother, Yvonne, is shot in front of the family pharmacy in a drive-by shooting. Dark family secrets begin to emerge about Yvonne's involvement in the notorious 1991 shooting of Ava Matthews, an unarmed young black woman, by a Korean shopkeeper. Grace is torn by conflicting emotions of concern for her mother and shame at the implications of her mother's crime. Meanwhile, Ava's brother, Shawn Matthews, has tried to put the past behind him. When news of Yvonne's attempted murder reaches him, it brings up emotions Shawn has long fought to keep down. The tension rises as the authorities circle in on his family as possible suspects in Yvonne's shooting. This timely, morally complex story could well be Cha's breakout novel. Agent: Ethan Bassoff, Lippincott Massie McQuilkin. (Oct.)


Kirkus Review

A real-life racial incident is transfigured into a riveting thriller about two families' heartbreaking struggles to confront and transcend rage and loss.It is the late summer of 2019, but no matter how many years have passed, Shawn Matthews, a black ex-convict now working for a Los Angeles moving company, is burdened by memories of the early spring of 1991, when his teenage sister Ava was shot to death by a Korean woman who mistakenly believed she was stealing from her convenience store. The shooting and the resulting trialin which the woman was convicted and received no jail time, after which she relocated to another part of LAfed into racial tensions already festering back then from the Rodney King trial. And the city's reactions to a present-day shooting death of an unarmed black teen by a police officer indicate that those racial animosities remain close to the boiling point. In the midst of the mounting furor, Grace Park, a young Korean woman, is shaken from her placid good nature by the sight of her mother being wounded in a drive-by shooting. "What if she is being punished?" her sister Miriam says, revealing a shocking fact about their mother's past that Grace hadn't known. An LAPD detective asks Shawn if he has an alibi for the drive-by (which he does). Nonetheless, the most recent shooting upends his fragile sense of security, and he starts to wonder where his cousin, Ray, himself just released from prison, was when Grace's mother was shot. Cha, author of the Juniper Song series of detective novels (Dead Soon Enough, 2015, etc.), brings what she knows about crafting noir-ish mysteries into this fictionalized treatment of the 1991 Latasha Harlins murder, blending a shrewd knowledge of cutting-edge media and its disruptive impact with a warm, astute sensitivity toward characters of diverse cultures weighed down by converging traumas.Cha's storytelling shows how fiction can delicately extract deeper revelations from daily headlines. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

When Grace Park's mother, Jung-Ja Han, is targeted in a drive-by shooting, Grace discovers the truth about her family's pivotal role in the 1992 L.A. riots. Amid growing tension between South Central's Asian shop owners and their African American customers, Grace's mother shot and killed Ava Matthews, a teenage girl Grace had accused of shoplifting and assault, despite the later discovery of only two dollars clutched in Ava's lifeless hand. Jung-Ja's light sentence and the Rodney King trial ignited rioting. Fleeing backlash, Jung-Ja changed her name to Yvonne Park and hid in the suburbs. Shawn, Ava's younger brother, has rebuilt his life after emerging from prison and leaving his fellow Crips gang members behind. Shawn's cousin Ray has finally been released from prison, too, and Shawn is optimistic about Ray's reunion with his community-activist mother, his wife, and the teenage twins Shawn has helped raise during Ray's absence. But the past won't go away, and Shawn and Ray face police scrutiny for Jung-Ja's shooting. In addition, Ray has been keeping secrets. As Grace and Shawn desperately try to hold their families together, community outrage over another teen's shooting places them and Ava's tragic death back in the media spotlight. A gripping, thoughtful portrayal of family loyalty, hard-won redemption, and the destructive force of racial injustice. Cha, author of the Juniper Song PI series, offers a strong contender for the summer's blockbuster read.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Cha is a rising star in crime fiction, and her latest, with its focus on racial injustice, may well be her breakout novel.--Christine Tran Copyright 2010 Booklist


Library Journal Review

In a powerful story that examines one of our nation's greatest challenges, Cha ("Juniper Song" trilogy) introduces readers to the families of Shawn Matthews and Grace Park--two strangers bound by the same tragic events. The story opens with 13-year-old Shawn living in 1991 Los Angeles, a city pulsing and explosive with racial tension after the Rodney King beating. Shawn, whose young life has already been filled with loss, watches in horror as his beloved 16-year-old sister Ava is shot and killed by a convenience store owner who accuses the girl of stealing. Twenty-eight years later, he is trying to change the course of his life after a stint in prison. When his cousin Ray joins the family after his own release from prison, the joyous reunion spins into a nightmare when Ray is arrested for the murder of an elderly Korean woman, Grace Park's mother. As their lives collide, Shawn and Grace try to unravel secrets and lies in their families to find the way to the truth. VERDICT Cha unflinchingly and compassionately examines issues of race, family, generational violence, and the transformative power of forgiveness in this unforgettable novel. [See Prepub Alert, 4/8/19.]--Julie Ciccarelli, Tacoma P.L.