Study Guide

A Step from Heaven Chapter 26

By An Na

Chapter 26

Revealing Forms

  • It's Sunday morning, and Young Ju walks into the kitchen where she sees Uhmma acting all weird, holding a brown paper bag.
  • Uhmma says they're late for church, but Young Ju doesn't understand Uhmma since it's only seven o'clock, so it isn't even close to church time.
  • Young Ju also smells a strange odor and wants to ask Uhmma about the smell, but Uhmma orders her to get ready for church.
  • After Young Ju showers, she goes to Joon and talks to him about that smell.
  • But Joon doesn't care (he's sleeping—and nobody wants to be woken up by an older sister), so Young Ju goes back into the kitchen and tries to hunt down the source of the smell.
  • She ends up outside rummaging through the trash can, where she finds a brown paper bag like the kind Uhmma was holding earlier.
  • She's a little scared to find out what's inside the bag.
  • Then Joon walks out and just does it—he reaches inside and pulls out an empty Jim Beam bottle.
  • And he doesn't stop there: he pulls out a bunch of empty beer cans too, which he crushes one by one.
  • Young Ju's disturbed by Joon's anger—plus that's not the source of the smell.
  • So she goes back into the house and looks for Uhmma in Uhmma's room.
  • What does she find? Uhmma with bruises all over her body. (Maybe Young Ju should have knocked…)
  • Uhmma's ashamed of the bruises, but Young Ju's both angry and sickened by the bruises—she wants to know why Apa would beat Uhmma, but Uhmma keeps defending him.
  • Finally Young Ju stands up and says "You have choices, Uhmma." Go Young Ju, right?
  • She walks behind Uhmma and ties Uhmma's hair back.
  • Uhmma notices—in a really shaky, teary voice—how tall Young Ju has grown.