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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2019 Steph Cha (P)2019 HarperAudio

Critic Reviews

“With Your House Will Pay, Steph Cha has taken a dark moment in Los Angeles’ 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)

What listeners say about Your House Will Pay

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Phenomenal writing, story, narration

Rage tore through the streets of LA following the infamous "Rodney King verdict" - the acquittal of a gang of police officers who were captured on videotape brutally and with reckless abandon beating an unarmed man within an inch of his life. Your House Will Pay is the story of a black family and a Korean family whose lives were forever changed during this period. The novel captures the tension and insanity of that horrible moment and brings into focus the damage wrought by the violent eruption following the King verdict.

In Your House Will Pay, Cha highlights the oppositions that existed in the LA community--oppositions seeded by racism and oppression. As the story unfolds, we see the ways the tragedies and injustices are woven into divergent life stories and ultimately complicate the truth of innocence and guilt.

Cha's a phenomenal storytelling captures aspects of both black and Korean family life with knowledgeable care. Narrators Glenn Davis and Greta Jung bring the stories to life. Davis's performance is particularly notable as he allows fluid and natural black English intonation that stays true with shifting between standard and vernacular, yielding a style that sounds authentic His voice is relaxing, easy to listen to and never sounds over performed. Jung's performance of Korean, and Korean accented English is also very natural and never mocking or awkward.

Both in the language of the characters and in the unvaling of their lives, Cha refuses the easy temptations of stereotyping and reduction, creating rich characters who inhabit complex worlds peopled with humans--no martyrs, no villains. She portrays characters' realistically complicated attitudes toward race and towards the justice system, towards family and faith. The story also effectively illustrates some of the ways incarceration impacts families.

Cha also provides an honest treatment of the competing courage and vanity, commitment and ambivalence that are quite real among well-meaning youthful justice warriors.

Cha's powerful writing will open your heart to lives you may think you cannot imagine. Through her masterfully moving and vivid language, you will see. Your House Will Pay lays bare the impacts violence and hatred while simultaneously inviting readers to consider the impacts of the violence and hatred of turning away from injustice (and the irony of turning away under the privileged protection of injustice).

Step Cha's story, beautifully performed by Glenn Davis and Gretta Jung, is a story for America today.

2 people found this helpful

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Cannot abide the female narrator

I am going to have to return this audiobook and purchase the print edition. So far, I find the story compelling and the writing beautiful. The male narrator does a fine job, and I find myself gritting my teeth until he returns. I find the female narrator’s character voices annoying to the point of distraction. I’m giving up.

1 person found this helpful

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Looking for more Steph Cha!

I loved this book!!! Steph Cha's writing is beautiful and insightful. And the narration by Glenn Davis and Greta Jung was perfect and allowed me to visual the story as if I was watching a movie. I'm now also looking for more books narrated by Greta Jung just to hear beautiful voice and perfect diction.

1 person found this helpful

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Great story for the tjmes

Timely story that sucks you in. Great story during a tumultuous time. Couldn't stop listening.

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Disappointed

I’n studying the events of the 1992 uprising and was hoping to learn more about the facts surrounding Latasha Harlins and Soon Ja Du. However, this author did not manage to do any research on her real-life subjects. So I’ve come to the conclusion that the work if pure fiction, and the only thing that’s significant is the one date of the occurrence. As a piece of pure fiction it’s good, but I would certainly not consider this to be historical fiction. In terms of the Audible book though, I really did like the choice of voices as it made realistic and easy to follow along.

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Amazing and captivating...until the end.

Totally hooked on the story and the amazing prose. However, the ending is abysmal. I understood the powers of a good, irresolute ending, but this needed more closure.

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  • KC
  • 07-17-20

Not bad

Steph Cha does a decent job of providing conflicting racial perspectives on the murdering of the main characters' family members. It fell a bit flat for me on the Black experience but overall, I appreciated Cha elevating the Latasha Harlins murder from the 90s and providing a Korean perspective on it.

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Great points of view

A story on racism from both points of view. I thought it was well written and gave the readers a lot of insight and a lot to think about. The book was well read by 2 different people, making it that much more interesting. I'm definitely glad that I listened to this book.

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Brilliant production of excellent book

Cha’s book is riveting from page one. This production with Greta Jung and Glenn Davis is spot on. I don’t know who has the idea of having alternating voices, but it works wonders to create suspense and to move with the book’s intensifying energy. Spectacular!

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Beautifully Written

Beautiful prose makes a book that's topic I wasn't sure I'd like, a story I liked very much.