cover image Win Me Something

Win Me Something

Kyle Lucia Wu. Tin House, $16.95 trade paper (268p) ISBN 978-1-951142-73-5

Wu’s compassionate debut traces one woman’s search for belonging via her memories of growing up in two households. Willa Chen’s upbringing and biracial identity left her feeling caught between worlds. Her parents’ divorce when she was young meant splitting her time between her white mother’s house in New Jersey and her Chinese American father’s in Upstate New York. Both of her parents’ second families—her white stepfather and half brother, and her white stepmother and two mixed-race half sisters—never seem to have room for Willa. At 24, she takes a job as a nanny for an upper-class white family, the Adriens, in New York City. The job becomes a live-in situation, and Willa grows closer to the daughter, Bijou, and the parents, particularly mother Nathalie. As her relationship with the family deepens, Willa confronts memories of her own childhood, and when one of her half sisters moves to the city for college, she hopes to make a connection. Through the characters’ kinships—some familial, some chosen—Wu brilliantly lays out the complicated dynamics of love, belonging, and care that exist within all relationships. Fans of Kiley Reid’s Such a Fun Age will love this. Agent: Monika Woods, Triangle House. (Nov.)