Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
Novel, Fiction about Families, Debut novel
READ unless you are feeling blue, because it’s amazing and rich but it’s not particularly uplifting.
The people we live with, our family and loved ones. We may spend our lives in the same house; we may see each other day in and day out, but how much do we really know about what is going on inside their heads? It takes the death of their middle child, Lydia, to rock the Lee’s out of the fantasy world they’d been living in and force them to take stock of their new reality. Nothing was as it seemed, and as we trace the story from one generation to the next and see the threads of pain, of expectation, of being different, of trying to fit in, it made me sad to see them trapped in these patterns. However, it is so authentically written as to be mesmerizing, because you want to find out how they will react.
Will the family even survive the grief and attempts to cope with the tearing loss? Has it derailed their relationships permanently as they each search for answers to what really happened to Lydia? Exploring the bonds of family and how far they will stretch before snapping allows Ng to draw colorful and believable characters that can also be unpredictable, but in such a way as to keep the story moving and interesting. I absolutely came away with some new perspective on real world parental and sibling relationships, and the idea of trying to remember the burden we each carry from our past, whether we can see it or not.
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