Review from San Francisco Book Review
Star Rating: 4 / 5
At first glance, American Water Tears: A Grandmaster's Story seems to be a novel about one brother's quest to rescue his older brother from his destructive life choices. It is, however, so much more than that. Han D. Cho uses his unique voice to draw the reader into the life of an immigrant family. Not unlike so many other families coming to this country today, the Lee family must navigate a difficult road between their birth culture and the new American culture they find themselves surrounded by. What happens when their Korean patriarchal family structure is shaken as deeply held rules and roles are challenged? Can the family change and evolve as their mother, Jasmine, no longer accepts the subservient role she has been raised to fit into? What happens when younger brother must take on the older brother's role in the family?
Cho's novel moves between past and present seamlessly, bringing childhood experiences to bear on present day events. His work can be read as a coming of age story, an in-depth look at immigration's effects on family structures, a riveting adventure, or a meditation on what it means to be a good son, sibling, or man.
This is a gentle story that will linger with you long after you close the covers.
About the Author
Han D. Cho graduated from Cornell University in 1989, and has since taught martial arts to thousands of students in his community and at his alma mater, capturing a record 21 ECTC championship titles. Many of his students have gone on to become national level players and coaches. In 2015, he was promoted to the rank of 9th Dan, the highest in the martial art that he teaches. He lives with his wife, Alice, with whom he shares the joys of raising their caring daughter and curious son. To become a martial artist, one must learn to face his true self and overcome any challenges that could otherwise define him. This is the true story that defined Han and his journey to becoming a Grandmaster.