Shelter

Jung Yun. Picador, $26 (336p) ISBN 978-1-250-07561-1
In her intense debut, Jung explores the powerful legacy of familial violence and the difficulty of finding the strength and grace to forgive. As the novel opens, Kyung Cho and his wife, Gillian, are on the verge of financial calamity: they are deep in debt, and selling their house in suburban Boston won’t help—their mortgage is underwater. Just when Gillian has almost convinced Kyung to swallow his pride and move in with his wealthy parents, Kyung learns that his parents have been the victims of a brutal home invasion. In an instant, Kyung must decide whether to find room in his home (and his heart) for his traumatized parents. Doing so, however, requires him to bridge the distance he’s deliberately maintained from them, to overcome the resentment he bears toward his parents for his unhappy childhood and his persistent feelings of failure. As Kyung’s situation grows increasingly unstable, he finds himself lapsing into familiar patterns of anger, distrust, and violence. Despite some lengthy asides, especially in the novel’s first half, that threaten to drown the narrative momentum in emotional reflection, a lot happens in this family drama rife with tension and unexpected ironies. Kyung’s greatest struggle, in the end, is learning how to see not only his own life but also his parents’ with clarity and understanding. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 11/23/2015
Release date: 03/15/2016
Ebook - 978-1-250-07564-2
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-1-250-11809-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-4272-8061-9
Hardcover - 448 pages - 978-1-4104-9134-3
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