Your House Will Pay

Your House Will Pay

by Steph Cha


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Chosen by Michael Connelly as a 2019 Masters’ Selection Read More


“[A] suspense-filled page-turner.” —Viet Thanh Nguyen, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for The Sympathizer

"A touching portrait of two families bound together by a split-second decision.” —Attica Locke, Edgar-Award winning author of Bluebird, Bluebird

A powerful and taut novel about racial tensions in Los Angeles, following two families—one Korean-American, one African-American—grappling with the effects of a decades-old crime

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062868855
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/15/2019
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 32,569
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Steph Cha is the author of the Juniper Song crime trilogy. She’s an editor and critic whose work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and The Los Angeles Review of Books. A native of the San Fernando Valley, she lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two basset hounds.

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Your House Will Pay: A Novel 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
3no7 25 days ago
“Your House Will Pay” by Steph Cha is not about a crime. Yes, Cha writes the story of a girl’s death, but it is really about the people, on all sides of this traumatic event, the lives they lived, the people they were, and the people they were to become. Who were they really? How did they find themselves in such traumatic circumstances? The narrative alternates between two families and events in 2019 and the one traumatic event in 1991. Chapters are identified by date to reinforce the time relationship for readers. Cha’s characters are believable and complex. Readers know them through meticulous details and vivid descriptions. They are victimized by history; they make mistakes; they keep secrets. However, a secret is revealed, events will never be seen in the same way as before, and the real story depends on whom one asks. Characters built their houses on sand, and when the rain of reality finally came, the cold rising waters of the real world threaten to destroy everyone. “Your House Will Pay” is a compelling and complex tale of the search for justice, the nature of revenge, and the cold hard reality of each. I received a review copy of “Your House Will Pay” from Steph Cha and HarperCollins Ecco. This book makes readers think and puts forward compelling questions. How do people feel about a tragic event thirty years later? Do people even remember? Was justice served, and if so, for whom? Is Justice delayed still justice or just bitter revenge? Does society view things differently today? Do social media posts incite confrontation? The answers are left for the reader to decide.
Elena_L 27 days ago
[4,5/5 stars] YOUR HOUSE WILL PAY is a work of fiction based on the true event of Latasha Harlins, a black teenager girl who was wrongly murdered in 1991 by a Korean woman. And she served no jail time. I have to say: this book is morally complex, thought-provoking and a must-read! While it wasn't a fast-paced story, Cha reminded me of the importance of relevant issues such as racism. With intimate writing, the author delivered raw emotions and brought this topic to the surface. To begin, my feelings were between Miriam or Grace team - I would initially blame Miriam for her lack of love for her family and support Grace for her loyalty. However, later I couldn't know if I would act like Grace or Miriam. Is loyalty better than doing the right thing? What's the right attitude? This book tells that family's background doesn't define us - I was touched by the connection between Shawn and Darryl. Their conversations were real and showed how flawed they were, yet I felt so much empathy with them. Cha offered us a deep examination of the power of family and forgiveness, also exploring the religious vision regarding crime/sins. Having said that, the ending felt quite vague for me, although it was closed beautifully. Ultimately it isn't about who was right or wrong, once people have different points of view and tend to condemn without knowing the whole context, but speaking out the racism and the violence many times consequence of such behavior is the true matter of this book to our society. I highly recommend this novel and can't wait to read more titles from Cha! [ I received a complimentary copy from Ecco books and all opinions are my own ]
Top-Five-Books 5 months ago
Based on a true story, this novel had me hooked from page one. Its pacing and depth of characters (I love that they're all so nuanced - no stock characters here) kept me engaged throughout. Cha deftly navigates complex race and class issues in a way that invites the reader to come closer, to examine his/her own reactions and biases. It's a masterful, thrill of a read - the kind that stays with you long after you've finished.
Rachel Bennett 5 months ago
“Maybe this was just how the world worked: people forgot awful truths all the time, or at least forgot to remember.” This book was unexpected, and wonderful. It takes a mature, nuanced, and empathic look at racial tensions and injustice evolving throughout the recent history of Los Angeles. Two families are living in modern LA that seemingly have nothing in common - one black, experiencing extreme racial prejudice, death, gang violence, and imprisonment, and one Korean, living an almost idyllic life in the suburbs. However, these two families are connected in ways that most couldn't imagine until an act of violence in the summer of 2019 reveals some truths about an act of violence almost 30 years previous. What's so powerful and sad about this book is that you can pretty much predict the plot twists and turns as they come. That doesn't mean the book is poorly written or lacking nuance. It just means that the inequality in our justice system has become so predictable that we can sadly see the violence and injustice coming from a mile away. To me, that makes it as timely as anything else you could be reading now about racial violence and prejudice, and worth anyone's time. Cha's writing, as I mentioned, is mature, and full of empathy. She somehow manages to make almost every character sympathetic, even those you really want to hate. In these big, messy issues, those on each side always thinks they are right, and she attempts to explain how it is that people could justify behavior that others think unbelievable and reprehensible. Thank you to Netgalley and HarperCollins for providing me an early copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.