“Your House Will Pay” by Steph Cha is not about a crime. Yes, Cha writes the story of a girl’s death, but it is really about the people, on all sides of this traumatic event, the lives they lived, the people they were, and the people they were to become. Who were they really? How did they find themselves in such traumatic circumstances? The narrative alternates between two families and events in 2019 and the one traumatic event in 1991. Chapters are identified by date to reinforce the time relationship for readers.
Cha’s characters are believable and complex. Readers know them through meticulous details and vivid descriptions. They are victimized by history; they make mistakes; they keep secrets. However, a secret is revealed, events will never be seen in the same way as before, and the real story depends on whom one asks. Characters built their houses on sand, and when the rain of reality finally came, the cold rising waters of the real world threaten to destroy everyone.
“Your House Will Pay” is a compelling and complex tale of the search for justice, the nature of revenge, and the cold hard reality of each. I received a review copy of “Your House Will Pay” from Steph Cha and HarperCollins Ecco. This book makes readers think and puts forward compelling questions. How do people feel about a tragic event thirty years later? Do people even remember? Was justice served, and if so, for whom? Is Justice delayed still justice or just bitter revenge? Does society view things differently today? Do social media posts incite confrontation? The answers are left for the reader to decide.