“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine where bloggers can showcase books that we are eagerly waiting for.
This week I’m highlighting “Shelter” by Jung Yun.
Publication: March 15th 2016 by Picador
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.
Why I’m waiting
I’m a sucker for debut novels. The experience of discovering a new favorite author in the the fledgling years of his or her professional career can be extremely rewarding.
I also love sprawling family dramas and this certainly fits the bill. I haven’t lived with my parents for many years and certainly don’t have any desire to do so, no matter how much I love my mother. The fact that Kyung must care for them and take them in despite their fractious past — well that just makes for good drama! Moreover, I set a goal for myself this year to read more books written by Asian authors, and Jung Yun looks to be a promising talent from South Korea.