An inexplicable tragedy striking a young Korean-American woman, Jane Park, and her African American husband, Terence Patterson, defines the endpoint of this exquisite mosaic of a novel. Their murder leads back to the equally heartbreaking emotions that estranged Jane from her parents — and then forward to the rescue of Terence’s family from a death of an entirely different kind.
The Parks rejected Terence because of his color; the Pattersons accepted Jane without qualification, and yet neither family has the advantage in facing the future. Beverly Patterson wears her grief over her son’s death like armor, even as her daughter fades to a shadow. Mrs Park, so bound to her husband that even her first name seems gratuitous, finally gathers the courage that allows them all to interrupt the cycle that is inexorably cutting them off from each other – Park from Park, Patterson from Patterson. A SHRED OF HOPE is balanced on the intricate, exquisitely delineated interplay of these two mothers, separated by their traditions but united by their loss.
Each moment of Yuliana Kim-Grant’s novel is strikingly unique and recognizably familiar as her characters stray into – and out of – emotional territory that they never wanted nor planned. Her compassionate but unflinting portrait turns the opaque rock of the lives of the Parks and the Pattersons into the translucent diamond formed by A SHRED OF HOPE.