Picador USA, 9781250075611, 336pp.
Publication Date: March 15, 2016
April 2016 Indie Next List
— Mary Cotton, Newtonville Books, Newton, MA
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"Shelter is domestic drama at its best, a gripping narrative of secrets and revelations that seized me from beginning to end."--Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize-Winning author of The Sympathizer
One of The Millions' Most Anticipated Books of the Year (Selected by Edan Lepucki)
Now BuzzFeed's #1 Most Buzzed About Book of the Year
Longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize
Named a Best Literary Debut of the Year by Buzzfeed and a Best Book of the Year by MPR
Kyung Cho is a young father burdened by a house he can't afford. For years, he and his wife, Gillian, have lived beyond their means. Now their debts and bad decisions are catching up with them, and Kyung is anxious for his family's future.
A few miles away, his parents, Jin and Mae, live in the town's most exclusive neighborhood, surrounded by the material comforts that Kyung desires for his wife and son. Growing up, they gave him every possible advantage--private tutors, expensive hobbies--but they never showed him kindness. Kyung can hardly bear to see them now, much less ask for their help. Yet when an act of violence leaves Jin and Mae unable to live on their own, the dynamic suddenly changes, and he's compelled to take them in. For the first time in years, the Chos find themselves living under the same roof. Tensions quickly mount as Kyung's proximity to his parents forces old feelings of guilt and anger to the surface, along with a terrible and persistent question: how can he ever be a good husband, father, and son when he never knew affection as a child?
As Shelter veers swiftly toward its startling conclusion, Jung Yun leads us through dark and violent territory, where, unexpectedly, the Chos discover hope. Shelter is a masterfully crafted debut novel that asks what it means to provide for one's family and, in answer, delivers a story as riveting as it is profound.