Everything I Never Told You: A Novel

Celeste Ng
“If we know this story, we haven’t seen it yet in American fiction, not until now. . . . Deep, heartfelt.” —The New York Times Book Review“Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.” So begins this exquisite novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee, and her parents are determined that she will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue. But when Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together is destroyed, tumbling them into chaos. A profoundly moving story of family, secrets, and longing, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another.

Reviews

Reviewed: 2021-12-07

This book was so sad. The parents and sometimes the brother and lydia, were so selfish. I don't know what it's like to be a parent but I 100% know how those parents acted was the definition of selfishness. Why push you're dreams onto someone else in such a fashion that it drove Lydia to do what she did. In the case of Hannah, I have never felt more sorry for a little girl in my life, why must it take the death of one daughter for you to realize how you've treated another. It was a good book, but it just made me so sad and the dad made me so mad.  

Reviewed: 2018-01-22

I have mixed feelings about this one. At first I thought it was a mystery thriller but then it became clear that this was about family dynamics with the "mystery" as just a backdrop. I also thought the switching between character point of views rapidly, even mid-paragraph sometimes, was disorienting. Overall it was a good story with some powerful themes.

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