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by Jung Yun

Shelter by Jung Yun X
Shelter by Jung Yun
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  • Henry W. (Lake Barrington, IL)
    Do you ever wonder what events shaped you and to what extent? The behavior of all the characters has been heavily influenced by events that occurred earlier in their lives. In some cases the events and result are obvious, low self esteem, resentment, and isolation. in other cases the events are deeply buried and are not revealed until a crisis occurs. Here a brutal event releases a torrent of revelations. The book is well written and will cause the reader to reflect on the forces that shaped his/her behavior and life. At times I found myself wondering how much of the book was based on the author's own life experiences.
  • Sue from rural PA
    Compelling Read!
    This first book makes for a compelling and memorable read. The author humanizes the members of this multi-generational Korean family as they experience a horrific event. The characters are well developed - complicated, sympathetic and hateful - all at once. I found myself thinking about the book long after I put it down. The subject matter - a home invasion and assault - is difficult to read about but rings true. It makes you think about how challenging it would be for anyone (and their families) to get past such an experience and continue on to live a positive and productive life. This would make a good book group selection.
  • Kay D. (Strongsville, OH)
    Highly Recommend
    A book I was engrossed in from the start. The shocking tragedy happens within the first pages and the reader is then drawn into the deeper levels of the story. The characters were developed enough to allow me to like some, dislike others, yet see them all as real. The basic theme of parents and children and what each "owes" to the other is examined and then stretched almost to the breaking point. Deeply felt and hidden emotions are ripped from their hiding places and exposed. At times my own deep feelings about relationships were scratched and made to bleed a bit while reading - I could feel the pain of the characters. Reads easily, yet the subject matter keeps the depth of serious fiction. Well worth the time to read. My only criticism would be the final pages - not sure it felt to be enough of an ending for the depth of the story. A "should read" for its writing, storyline and characters.
  • Jill S. (Chicago, IL)
    A writer with promise
    This debut novel on family life focuses on a poignant theme: what sacrifices are made by the adult child who never received unconditional love and emotional stability in childhood.

    The adult child in question is Kyung Cho, a young father and budding professor who is semi-estranged from his affluent and tyrant father and cold mother. But then, one violent day, everything changes. And Kyung must face some of life's most quintessential issues: how can someone be whole if there's a yawning gap in the midst of his life? What does he owe a father who has snatched away the ability to feel safe? How does he give to his own son that which was not given to himself? This is a thought-provoking, well-written novel that needs just a tad more nuance.
  • Martha P. (Issaquah, WA)
    Anger management---not
    Home invasion, rape, domestic abuse, child abuse, marital discord, financial ruin, drugs, alcohol abuse, infidelity, suicide. Charming! Well-written and, thankfully, a short, fast read. This family is beyond dysfunctional with issues that could keep a platoon of psychologists busy for years.
  • Mary A. (Lake Nebagamon, WI)
    How we present ourselves
    This is a story of Jin and Mae Cho, Korean immigrants surviving in our culture. A tragedy happens in the Cho family. As a result, we find out about their family dynamics impacting their son, Kyung.

    How we physically present ourselves is not necessarily what we are inside or what we feel. If there had been honest communication would any of the trauma in this family have happened?

    This is a book about families not having important, honest communication causing dysfunction. What we do in order to survive. Can we change?
  • Tilli F. (Holyoke, MA)
    I have mixed feeling about this. There are times when it is good, for instance the description of transplanted Korean life. There are times when it is bad, for instance the description of the affair with the hero, which comes from nowhere and goes nowhere. It seems like an "Oh we've got to get sex in here somewhere" episode which is jarring and breaks the flow totally. The characters are spotty. The wife is sketchily drawn and makes no sense until the end when she is explained. That could have come much sooner. In sum when it is done, I find I cannot recommend this book

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