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ARC Book Review: ‘Your House Will Pay’ by Steph Cha

Title: Your House Will Pay

Author: Steph Cha

Length: 299 pages

Publisher: Faber and Faber

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I was lucky enough to be sent a copy of this from Faber and Faber and I couldn’t be more grateful.

Synopsis: Grace Park and Shawn Matthews share a city, Los Angeles, but seeming little else, coming from different generations and very different communities. As Grace battles confusion over her elder sister’s estrangement from her Korean-immigrant parents, Shawn tries to help his cousin Ray readjust to civilian life after years spent in prison. But what is it on their last that links these two families? As the city around them threatens to erupt into violence, echoing the worst days of the early 1990s, the lives of Grace and Shawn are set to collide in ways that will change them all forever.

I absolutely loved this book. It’s deep and prevalent to today’s society. What Steph Cha does brilliantly is capture the racially-charged culture, that has been and still is America’s way.

The story starts with Grace, who’s meeting her sister and comes across a memorial for a young black boy that’s been shot by the police. Grace’s story arc really starts at this point and the events that follow. We then meet Shawn, who’s picking up his cousin from prison and holding down a steady job after being in prison himself.

This book is filled with some wonderful, real characters. They really capture your heart. Steph Cha writes them in such an emotive way, you can’t help but feel for them. Shawn and his family’s grief is heartbreaking, yet beautifully written. And Graces confusion and mixed emotions are dealt with brilliantly.

I couldn’t wait to find out how these characters stories would link. And I would I did find out, I was so shocked. What a plot twist! The revelations elevated the story to a whole another level. I won’t say to much about it though because I don’t want to spoil it for you but it’s fantastic. It at times read like a thriller (although I definitely wouldn’t class it as one) and I found myself not being able to put it down and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.

This is one of those books that will have you thinking, it’ll make you ask yourself some questions. ‘Can we still love someone who did something bad?’. ‘What would I do in this situation, how would I handle it?’ ‘Can we really forgive?’. It’s a hard book to forget, which to me, is the sign of a great novel.

This must have been a really hard book for the author to end. How can you give it a resolution, when racism is still occurring? But what it does do brilliantly, is end the families stories. I found the ending to be quite emotional and profound. It, for me, had a sense of hope.

This novel is deep and honest. It captures family dynamics brilliant. With its tender, yet hard hitting writing, it’s a book I can’t recommend enough. It’s a book I find myself thinking about long after I’ve finished it.

Thanks to Faber and Faber for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out January 16th.

Until the next review

JTH

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