Title: Your House Will Pay
Author: Steph Cha
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Publication Date: 16th January 2020
One desperate to remember, the other to forget.
Will the truth burn them both?
Grace Park and Shawn Mathews share a city – Los Angeles – but seemingly little else. Coming from different generations and very different communities, their paths wouldn’t normally cross at all. As Grace battles confusion over her elder sister’s estrangement from their Korean-immigrant parents, Shawn tries to help his cousin Ray readjust to city life after years spent in prison.
But something in their past 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 which will change them all forever.
Your House Will Pay is a work of fiction based on a real crime that took place in LA in the 1990’s. I always feel books with the ring of truth to them often have even more resonance because of it and that did indeed prove to be the case here. It did take me a few chapters to get into it but I became slowly engrossed in both the modern storyline and the 1990’s one. This book really paints a picture of LA both then and now and demonstrates both the parallels and the differences intelligently.
We follow two characters, Grace and Shawn who at first appear to have very little connection. They are different ages and from different areas, however, there are past events that do intrinsically tie them together. I was fascinated and eager to uncover the ways their lives become intertwined. All the characters in Your House Will Pay are really compelling with many layers and subtle nuances to their personalities which I appreciated although I didn’t massively connect with any of them which is my only tiny negative. What I thought was particularly well done, however, was that there were absolutely no easy answers here. As with real life, this book is full of shades of grey.
Overall I found Your House Will Pay hugely interesting. It told me a lot about a period of recent history in LA that I knew relatively little about and conveyed how long the consequences of one person’s actions can reverberate. Ultimately this book is about family, loyalty and vengeance. It asks the question, is revenge ever justified? And even if it is, does that make it right?
I received this e-arc through Netgalley. My review is my own, honest opinion.