When she is five, Young Ju Park and her family move from Korea to California. During the flight, they climb so far into the sky she concludes they are on their way to heaven — that Heaven is in America!Life in America, however, is far more difficult than the Parks dreamed. Jobs are scarce and money is even scarcer. Young Ju’s father soon becomes so depressed and angry that he loses the ability to control his own behavior, his drinking increases, and he hurts his family both emotionally and physically. Dominated by the mores and traditions of their native land, her family is ill-equipped to function in the world they’ve chosen and they each respond in a way true to their character.