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Your House Will Pay (2019)

by Steph Cha

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2991771,879 (4.18)41
"With Your House Will Pay, Steph Cha has taken a dark moment in Los Angeles's violent history and cracked it wide open, creating a prism of understanding--of the pull of generational violence and its enduring devastation, but also of the power of human grace against all odds. It's a touching portrait of two families bound together by a split-second decision that tore a hole through an entire city." --Attica Locke, Edgar-Award winning author of Bluebird, Bluebird In the wake of the police shooting of a black teenager, Los Angeles is as tense as it's been since the unrest of the early 1990s. But Grace Park and Shawn Matthews have their own problems. Grace is sheltered and largely oblivious, living in the Valley with her Korean-immigrant parents, working long hours at the family pharmacy. She's distraught that her sister hasn't spoken to their mother in two years, for reasons beyond Grace's understanding. Shawn has already had enough of politics and protest after an act of violence shattered his family years ago. He just wants to be left alone to enjoy his quiet life in Palmdale. But when another shocking crime hits LA, both the Park and Matthews families are forced to face down their history while navigating the tumult of a city on the brink of more violence.… (more)
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» See also 41 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
This book explores the issues of multi culturalism and racial tension in an incredibly deep and complicated manner. If you want a book to really challenge how you think about race and culture in America, this is the book to read. ( )
  Aldon.Hynes | Sep 14, 2021 |
A fictionalized retelling of the very real 1991 shooting of Latasha Harlins. It is a topical read that looks at racism in this country and the difficult relations between Asian and Black Americans. This book was powerfully written and subverts the stereotypical characters by giving them in-depth characterizations that force the reader to look past the schemas they might have been taught to believe, to see the messy humans underneath.

It is commendable how the author performs the balancing act of explaining Yvonne's actions without justifying them, sympathizing without affirming, and also critiques without vilifying.

Not for people who want pithy, feel-good reads to make them feel better about racial tensions. This book is a sucker-punch sort of novel that leaves you thinking about the questions its raises long after you turn the final page. ( )
  Nommie | Apr 24, 2021 |
I guess this was okay? It was well-written but it wasn't exceptionally well-written? I made it through and I never felt like giving up but nor was I entranced? Endnotes for the book reveal it's adapted from a real-life event that I did not know about. ( )
  steveportigal | Dec 31, 2020 |
This book takes place in Los Angeles, shifting between 1991 and 2019. Though it is told in third person, the story is presented through alternating subjectivities -- primarily through Grace, the daughter of a Korean woman who committed a crime; and Shawn, whose sister, who is Black, died as a result. Although the action unfolds in a forward arc, this book is not so much a thriller as a nuanced, closely woven tale about how racism, resentment, and violence can be both intoxicating and devastating for a community; how the press and social media can both bring about and undermine justice; and how actions taken by groups can have profound effects upon individuals, who in turn form assumptions about groups. This is a novel in which most of the characters are complex, flawed, struggling, and devoted--either to an ideal or to family or to going straight or to old assumptions. Highly recommend. ( )
  KarenOdden | Dec 6, 2020 |
“But she held tight to all her principles, and the most important of these was that family came first."

What to do when the bad guy was someone close to us?
  ilnsgr | Aug 9, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Cha, Stephprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Davis, GlennNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jung, GretaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
We ain’t meant to survive, ’cause it’s a setup.
—Tupac Shakur, Keep Ya Head Up, dedicated to the memory of Latasha Harlins
Even to this day I can’t believe something like this could happen to our family.
—letter from Soon Ja Du to Judge Joyce Karlin, October 25, 1991
Dedication
For Maria Joo
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“Well, this is it,” said Ava. “I don’t know how we’re supposed to find these fools.”
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"With Your House Will Pay, Steph Cha has taken a dark moment in Los Angeles's violent history and cracked it wide open, creating a prism of understanding--of the pull of generational violence and its enduring devastation, but also of the power of human grace against all odds. It's a touching portrait of two families bound together by a split-second decision that tore a hole through an entire city." --Attica Locke, Edgar-Award winning author of Bluebird, Bluebird In the wake of the police shooting of a black teenager, Los Angeles is as tense as it's been since the unrest of the early 1990s. But Grace Park and Shawn Matthews have their own problems. Grace is sheltered and largely oblivious, living in the Valley with her Korean-immigrant parents, working long hours at the family pharmacy. She's distraught that her sister hasn't spoken to their mother in two years, for reasons beyond Grace's understanding. Shawn has already had enough of politics and protest after an act of violence shattered his family years ago. He just wants to be left alone to enjoy his quiet life in Palmdale. But when another shocking crime hits LA, both the Park and Matthews families are forced to face down their history while navigating the tumult of a city on the brink of more violence.

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