Of all my vacation reads, this has been my favorite. I can't stop thinking about it. A debut novel by Cambridge author, Celeste Ng, EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU is powerful and piercingly on target. For all of us who are drawn to books about dysfunctional families this is the pinnacle!  Bring on the maladjusted, the wounded, and the flawed..it's all here depicted in gorgeous, poignant prose.

The summary below says it all....

Everything I Never Told You: A Novel

Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet . . .

So begins the story of this exquisite debut novel, about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee; their middle daughter, a girl who inherited her mother’s bright blue eyes and her father’s jet-black hair. Her parents are determined that Lydia will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue—in Marilyn’s case that her daughter become a doctor rather than a homemaker, in James’s case that Lydia be popular at school, a girl with a busy social life and the center of every party.

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. James, consumed by guilt, sets out on a reckless path that may destroy his marriage. Marilyn, devastated and vengeful, is determined to find a responsible party, no matter what the cost. Lydia’s older brother, Nathan, is certain that the neighborhood bad boy Jack is somehow involved. But it’s the youngest of the family—Hannah—who observes far more than anyone realizes and who may be the only one who knows the truth about what happened.

A profoundly moving story of family, history, and the meaning of home, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, exploring the divisions between cultures and the rifts within a family, and uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another.

(Amazon Review and Best Book of 2014)

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1 comment:

  1. It's the 1970s, and James and Marilyn Lee have three children. Their world revolves around their middle child, sixteen-year-old Lydia, who, unknown to them, is dead. Once told, this extraordinarily human novel unfolds like an exotic flower. The author skillfully writes with the precision of a laser so that there's not an extraneous word or thought. Her portrait of the Lees and their inability to fully understand themselves as seen through each other's eyes is nothing short of genius. Highly recommended.