cover image The Noh Family

The Noh Family

Grace K. Shim. Kokila, $18.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-5934-6273-7

After a DNA test uncovers a paternal family she never knew existed, 18-year-old Chloe Chang becomes immersed in a world of South Korean privilege in Shim’s operatic debut. Chloe has always dreamed of studying fashion in New York City, but after her father’s death, her mother’s salary is barely enough for them to get by. When she learns that her father—who she assumed had no relations—has family living in Seoul, Chloe takes off to meet them. The affluent Noh family are essentially South Korean royalty, a far cry from Chloe’s modest Oklahoma relatives. With the help of a new friend and the Noh’s dreamy personal assistant, Chloe dives into their world of glamour and secrets. But class differences and Chloe’s unfamiliarity with Korean culture make her feel like she doesn’t belong, and she’s left wondering, “if my life is a real live K-drama... why does it feel worse than it looks on screen?” Shim deftly employs all the whirlwind romance and jaw-dropping reveals of classic K-dramas via breezy prose and vividly drawn settings to explore classism, heartbreak, identity, and manipulation amid familial and societal expectations in this enticing debut. Ages 12–up. Agent: Andrea Morrison, Writers House. (May)