The Loved Ones (Paperback)
November 2016 Indie Next List
“Chung offers readers an intelligent, compassionate story that crosses all kinds of divides. The pages turn quickly as the story of two families, their pasts, and the consequences of their current actions are presented. Each character is empathetic and compelling, and the prose is, at some points, heart-breaking in its simplicity. This novel brings a unique perspective to immigration history in the U.S., and the contrasting cultures, as well as the contrast in generations, makes for a fast read and a powerful narrative. Long for This World made Chung a writer to watch, but with this book she should jump right to the top of everyone's must-read pile.”
— Abby Fennewald, Book People, Austin, TX
In this masterful novel of inheritance and loss, Sonya Chung (Long for This World) proves herself a worthy heir to Marguerite Duras, Hwang Sun-won, and James Salter. Spanning generations and divergent cultures, The Loved Ones maps the intimate politics of unlikely attractions, illicit love, and costly reconciliations. Charles Lee, the young African American patriarch of a biracial family, seeks to remedy his fatherless childhood in Washington, DC, by making an honorable choice when his chance arrives. Years later in the mid-1980s, uneasy and stymied in his marriage to Alice, he finds a connection with Hannah Lee, the teenage Korean American caregiver whose parents’ transgressive flight from tradition and war has left them shrouded in a cloud of secrets and muted passion. A shocking and senseless death will test every familial bond and force all who are touched by the tragedy to reexamine who their loved ones truly are–the very meaning of the words. Haunting, elliptical, and powerful, The Loved Ones deconstructs the world we think we know and shows us the one we inhabit.
For fantasy fans who want a more historical tale, or historical fiction buffs who want something a little more fantastical this genre-bending book is the perfect choice! It follows Lee Westfall, a young woman living in 19th century Georgia who has a secret: she is a gold diviner. When tragedy strikes her family, her only option for escape and opportunity seems to be joining a wagon trail west to strike it rich in California’s gold rush. But the journey is more harrowing than she can imagine… she must disguise herself as a boy and face all manner of tribulations on the trail. This book is incredibly engrossing… not only is the story suspenseful, but the characters and fantastical elements are portrayed in such an intimate way it feels almost like reading real history. - Linnea