Title- Everything I Never Told You
Author- Celeste Ng
Genre- Contemporary, literary fiction
Length- 305 pages
Synopsis (Goodreads)- Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet . . . So begins this debut novel about a mixed-race family living in 1970s Ohio and the tragedy that will either be their undoing or their salvation. 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 tumbles into chaos, forcing them to confront the long-kept secrets that have been slowly pulling them apart.
Review- It is difficult to know what to say about this book. When a book is this good it’s hard to find any faults with it, meaning that other than gushing praise, there isn’t much to say.Although right from the start you know Lydia is dead, most of this book isn’t really about that. There is discussion of the aftermath and the impact it has on various family members, but more of the book is about the family in the years leading up to Lydia’s death. This is not a book full of “events” as such, but rather stories about the family, how they each feel about various things, their position in the family, and the world. There are several major themes in this, race, family, relationships, and each theme is well explored.
The book is well written, the tense flips between past and present, and the story is told from several different points of view. It is well done. There is never confusion about who the focus is, or what time period it is.
This book reminds me a little of A Prayer for Owen Meany, and if you have read my review of that, you know I loved it. So, if that is a book you enjoyed, you would likely enjoy this too.
Overall I really enjoyed this book, it’s actually very touching, I would recommend it to pretty much everyone.