Relative Strangers delivers a delightfully engaging story highlighting the complexities of life through the eyes of compelling characters.


The Description

Publication Date: April 2, 2024

From the acclaimed author of A Good Family comes a timely spin on Sense and Sensibility, a twenty-first-century family drama featuring two half-Korean sisters, their ex-hippie mother, multiple messy love affairs and one explosive secret that could ruin everything.

Amelia Bae-Wood’s life is falling apart. Unemployed, newly single and completely broke—for reasons she hasn’t told anyone yet—she finds herself hitchhiking across California to deal with the fallout of her mother’s eviction from the family estate. Amelia needs somewhere to live and time to figure out what to do with the rest of her life, so moving with her mother and sister to Arcadia, the cancer retreat center where her sister volunteers, seems like as good an idea as any.

Amelia’s sister, Eleanor, has too much on her plate, including being caught up in a court battle with a man who claims to be their half brother from Seoul and their late father’s only son—a secret love child from his Korean youth—who’s fighting for a piece of everything that belongs to the Bae-Wood women. And when Amelia adds herself to Eleanor’s list of problems, Eleanor must figure out what to hold on to—and when to let go—before things starts to unravel.

A witty, wry and enormously entertaining retelling, the sisters’ journey of self-discovery as they reshape their lives gives this classic tale a modern, feminist twist, as it touches on themes of blended families, race, class and wealth.

The Review

Jane Austen fans who have read Sense and Sensibility can argue about whether the heart or the mind should take the lead. Author A.H. Kim reimagines the classic tale with a unique set of characters, reviving the debate.

Relative Strangers is set on the Pacific Coast at a cancer retreat center where a mother and her two adult half-Korean daughters are seeking refuge. However, they aren’t there for health reasons.

The matriarch has been tossed out of the family estate pending a legal battle with a man claiming to be the estate’s male heir. She’s still trying to figure out life as a widow.

Her two daughters serve up a study in contrasts. Eleanor, a widowed nurse, manages a teen daughter, oversees the legal battle, and handles all the day-to-day emergencies. On the other hand, Amelia is the epitome of a five-alarm fire. She has hit rock bottom, effectively hiding a substantial secret from her loved ones.

In the midst of all the messiness that comes with life, the women learn important lessons from the most unlikeliest of sources. Eleanor must embrace her emotions, while Amelia must get off the emotional roller coaster.

The story shines not only through the vibrant characters but also via the many one-liners and cultural references. There’s plenty of dry humor, too.

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About The AuthorA.H. Kim (Ann) was born in South Korea and immigrated to the U.S. as a young child. Ann was educated at Harvard College and Berkeley Law. Prior to becoming a novelist, Ann practiced corporate law for many years and served as chief of staff to the CEO and as head of investor relations at a Fortune 200 company.Ann is the proud mother of two sons, a longtime cancer survivor, and community volunteer. After many years living in the Bay Area, Ann and her husband now call Ann Arbor home.



Amy Wilson
Amy Wilson
My name is Amy W., and I am a book addict. I will never forget the day I came home from junior high school to find my mom waiting for me with one of the Harlequin novels from my stash. As she was gearing up for the "you shouldn't be reading this" lecture, I told her the characters get married in the end. I'm just glad she didn't find the Bertrice Small book hidden in my closet. I have diverse reading tastes, evident by the wide array of genres on my Kindle. As I made the transition to an e-reader, I found myself worrying that something could happen to it. As a result, I am now the proud owner of four Kindles -- all different kinds, but plenty of back-ups! "Fifty Shades of Grey" gets high marks on my favorites list -- not for character development or dialogue (definitely not!), but because it blazed new ground for those of us who believe provocative fiction is more than just an explicit cover. Sylvia Day, Lexie Blake, and Kristin Hannah are some of my favorite authors. Speaking of diverse tastes, I also enjoy Dean Koontz, Iris Johansen, and J.A. Konrath. I’m always ready to discover new-to-me authors, especially when I toss in a palate cleanser that is much different than what I would normally read. Give me something with a well-defined storyline, add some suspense (or spice), and I am a happy reader. Give me a happily ever after, and I am downright giddy.


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Relative Strangers delivers a delightfully engaging story highlighting the complexities of life through the eyes of compelling characters.5-STAR REVIEW: RELATIVE STRANGERS by A.H. Kim