A Shred Of Hopeby Yuliana Kim-Grant
An inexplicable tragedy striking a young Korean-American woman, Jane Park, and her African American husband, Terence Patterson, defines the endpoint of this exquisite mosaic of a novel. Their murder leads back to the equally heartbreaking emotions that estranged Jane from her parents -- and then forward to the rescue of Terence's family from a death of an entirely different kind.
The Parks rejected Terence because of his color; the Pattersons accepted Jane without qualification, and yet neither family has the advantage in facing the future. Beverly Patterson wears her grief over her son's death like armor, even as her daughter fades to a shadow. Mrs Park, so bound to her husband that even her first name seems gratuitous, finally gathers the courage that allows them all to interrupt the cycle that is inexorably cutting them off from each other - Park from Park, Patterson from Patterson. A SHRED OF HOPE is balanced on the intricate, exquisitely delineated interplay of these two mothers, separated by their traditions but united by their loss.
Each moment of Yuliana Kim-Grant's novel is strikingly unique and recognizably familiar as her characters stray into - and out of - emotional territory that they never wanted nor planned. Her compassionate but unflinting portrait turns the opaque rock of the lives of the Parks and the Pattersons into the translucent diamond formed by A SHRED OF HOPE.
- Champion Writers
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.74(d)
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I found this a really surprising book, and not just because I didn't know much about Korean-American culture. So it was interesting to think about what a marriage between a Korean woman and an African American would be like, but what Yuliana Kim-Grant does is to make that marriage feel completely natural and universal, filled with joys and difficulties that anyone of us can understand. Then she places that marriage within a swirl of competing racial attitudes in the families of the spouses. But just when you think it's going to be a book about racial difficulties, it turns into a book about mothers and daughters, parents and children. And then she brings all these threads back together in a couple of quiet scenes of healing and generosity. Amazing. Maybe a little too quiet and restrained for its own good, so only four stars, but I can't wait to see what she does next.
I expected a "lighter" read when I started this - happily surprised at what a solid piece it is - so mamy issues addressed - parenting,generational challenges, racial differences up and down the age scale, love and tolerance of completely different outlooks... Though it's a novel, it reads a lot like what I LIKE in memoirs - the journal entries interspersed - has emotional pulls any parent will recognize.