Cover reveal time! This sparkling K-drama inspired debut from Grace Shim follows Chloe Kang, who is reunited with her deceased father’s estranged family via a DNA test, and is soon whisked off to Seoul to join them.
Check out the cover for The Noh Family below and read an early sneak peek!
Illustrator: Rini (Chae Rin Lee) (Instagram: @xoxo_rini, YouTube: 리니 Rini)
Cover/jacket design: Kristin Boyle
Sixteen hours in first class feels truly magical. I watched a movie (okay, six, but who’s counting?), ate caviar for the first time, practiced my Korean using the language app on my phone, and before I knew it, it was time to land. If it were any other destination, I would be sad to leave the luxury cocoon of the first-class cabin. But this isn’t just any destination. This is Korea, where I’m about to meet my family.
I’ve been awake for almost twenty-four hours, but a jolt of adrenaline reinvigorates me as soon as the tires hit the tarmac. Right when the fasten seatbelt sign turns off, I’m the first one up on my feet. I gather my bags and feel regal as I walk down the steps out of the aircraft, but as soon as we get into the airport terminal, I’m swept into a sea of passengers rushing to go through the immigration line. Unfortunately, there is no first-class line here. It’s more of a free-for-all, which is quite jolting after spending the last sixteen hours in a private room, being waited on hand and foot.
Now that I’m here, one step closer to meeting my family, I’m nervous. What if they don’t like me? What if my mom is right and I’m just a stranger to them? After all, we only found out about each other literally yesterday.
I already felt out of place in Tulsa. If I don’t fit in with my own family, then where do I fit in?
Trying not to spiral before I even meet them, I reread my messages from Jin Young, my long-lost first cousin. Of course they’ll like me. They wouldn’t have gone to such extreme lengths to get me here otherwise.
In the last exchange I had with Jin Young, he said that someone would meet me at the airport and take me to meet my halmoni. Halmoni. That’s a word I never thought would hold any meaning to me. That stinging sensation in my nasal passages threatens tears. To distract myself, I put my earbuds in and practice my Korean using the app. By the time I get through the massive immigration line and to the exit, I have almost mastered the greetings.
“Anyonghasayo,” I say out loud. It’s the formal way of saying hello. I plan to say it the first time I meet my family. It doesn’t quite roll off my tongue the right way, so I keep repeating it over and over while I look for the sign with my name on it.
Suddenly, a guy in a fitted black suit bows to me. “Anyonghasayo,” he says, returning the greeting.
It isn’t until I bow apologetically that I notice the sign he’s holding. It says my name, Chloe Chang, in large block letters.
“Um.” I point to the sign, then point to me. “Jin Young?” I ask, taking inventory of him. He doesn’t look at all like the picture I found online, with him and his equally beautiful sister. Not that this man isn’t beautiful. He’s got the kind of perfect complexion K-drama heroines pine for, a pair of thick, perfectly symmetrical eyebrows, and . . . are those dimples?
His lips are curved in a small smile, and instead of responding, he bows, holding out a business card to me with both his hands.
I take it and read it. Mr. Kim, Private Secretary to Noh Jin Young.
“Oh. I mean, anyonghasayo.” I bow again. He must be about my age, which is hardly old enough to be ‘Mr.’ anything. “Is Jin Young here? Perhaps waiting in the car?” I peer around the corners, looking for anyone who resembles the photo I found online. I just thought that when Jin Young said someone would meet me at the airport, he meant someone from the family.
He responds in Korean.
“Neh?” I have no choice but to use my limited Korean with him, seeing as he doesn’t speak any English.
Mr. Kim leads me outside of the airport, where a sleek black sedan with dark tinted windows is parked right in front, with a sign that reads VIP on the window. I can’t help but smile, taking note of how my dad’s family spared no expense to welcome me here. I’ve waited my whole life for something like this.