Jung Yun for Shelter at Kramerbooks

Wednesday, May 18th 6:30pm

Kyung Cho's home is worth less money than he owes. A tenure-track professor, he and his wife, Gillian, have always lived beyond their means. Now their decisions have caught up with them, and Kyung is anxious for his family's future: all he wants is to provide the home that was denied him to their son.

Not that he ever wanted for pleasing things -- his father moved the family from Korea, and made good money engineering patents for the university that now employs his son. Kyung was raised in the town's most affluent neighborhood, in the exquisite house where his parents, Jin and Mae, still live, but his childhood was far from comfortable. Jin was always swift to anger, and whenever he took a hand to Mae, she would inflict the wounds she suffered on Kyung. 

With the support of his parents' pastor, Kyung brought the cycle to a halt, but he cannot bear the thought of asking them for help. Yet when Jin and Mae become victims of a violent home invasion, the dynamic suddenly changes, and Kyung is compelled to take them in. As the carefully established distance between Kyung and his parents collapses, he must reckon with his childhood, even as the life that he has built begins to crumble.

As Shelter veers swiftly toward its startling conclusion, Jung Yun's debut novel leads us through dark and violent territory, where, unexpectedly, the Chos discover hope. Taut and masterfully told, it as riveting as it is profound