Study Guide

A Step from Heaven Chapter 30

By An Na

Chapter 30

A Family of Dreamers

  • Picture a little plot of grass and a squat house with a low roof. A lot like a hen.
  • No, it's not Young Ju's old house in Korea—it's their new house in America.
  • Sure it's not much to look at and it's not one of those nice houses on the hill, but it's their own house, which they got without Apa.
  • Too bad Young Ju has to leave for college soon since they just started moving in.
  • Uhmma and she have to share a bedroom while she's home, but that's no biggie.
  • This house has its own dining room—something totally new for Uhmma—and there's even a spot for them to hang a chandelier if they want to.
  • They still have their old couch, but they've traded in that old sheet for a new blue sheet over the couch.
  • Uhmma wants to save money for a new couch, but right now they're wiped out because of the new house.
  • Uhmma's income from working at Gomo's new dry-cleaning business, plus Joon's money from his after-school job at Kinko's, plus Young Ju's money from tutoring all went to go buy this house.
  • And they still took out a loan from Gomo and Uncle Tim (which Gomo wanted Uhmma to take because, you know, they're family).
  • Good thing Young Ju's got a scholarship to college.
  • Now she's thinking about college: what if she can't make it there? What if people think she's like an alien?
  • But Young Ju stops herself and tells herself to get to work unpacking.
  • While they're unpacking some boxes, Uhmma and Young Ju find a pile of pictures.
  • One picture shows a young girl and boy in uniforms; the girl is Uhmma and the boy is her brother Song Won Ju.
  • That's news to Young Ju, who never knew Uhmma even had a brother (and she an uncle).
  • So that makes Young Ju wonder: how come they never hear about Uhmma's family?
  • Uhmma passes another photo to Young Ju, a picture of Uhmma's family.
  • Uhmma tells Young Ju that it makes her too sad to talk about her family since it makes her miss Korea.
  • Young Ju also figures out from looking at the picture that Uhmma came from a rich family—much richer than Apa's family.
  • Then Uhmma pulls out another picture: it's of Young Ju, Apa, and Uhmma at the beach in Korea.
  • Uhmma tells Young Ju that that was one of the best days of her life—it was the day that Young Ju learned how to jump into the waves.
  • Uhmma gets Young Ju to try and remember that day and who taught her to go into the waves.
  • Young Ju tries to remember and guesses Uhmma.
  • Nope.
  • Halmoni?
  • Nope.
  • Apa?
  • Yep.
  • It was Apa who taught her how to go into the waves. Note: this is super-major because now we know who the adult is in Chapter 1.
  • Young Ju's kind of stunned by this news because the person who taught her was so nice and encouraging—in other words, so not Apa.
  • But Uhmma reminds Young Ju that Apa was a different person back then. He was a dreamer, just like Young Ju—in fact, they come from "a family of dreamers."
  • Uhmma tells Young Ju to take that picture to college so that she can remember how she comes from "a family of dreamers."
  • The chapter ends the same way the first chapter ends, with this line: "I am a sea bubble floating, floating in a dream. Bhop."