Sung J. Woo, . . St. Martin's/Dunne, $23.95 (328pp) ISBN 978-0-312-53885-9
In this charming tale of family, community and the struggle for understanding, young Korean immigrant David Kim learns to acculturate to a new American life. After five years on their own in Seoul, 12-year-old David, his big sister and mother reunite with his father in Oakbridge, N.J. Now known as Harry, David's father has a gift shop in a rundown strip mall called Peddlers Town. Though told largely by a grown-up David, some chapters switch to a third-person voice to examine other characters, including members of the Kim family and the other store owners at Peddler's Town (including an American with a cross-dressing son and a down-on-his-luck detective). Woo eschews immigrant clichés to focus on complicated familial relationships and surprising, sympathetic characters; alternating between humor and melancholy, Woo's text strikes a true chord while drawing readers into its strange, strip-mall world.
Reviewed on: 12/15/2008
Open Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-4299-3713-9
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-312-38509-5