Everything I Never Told You
Lydia is dead. But they don't know this yet.
Lydia is the favourite child of Marilyn and James Lee; 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 ...more
She was able to tell her mom that she didn't want her dreams (the cookbook), to tell her dad that she will be her own person and does not need to be popular (the cops telling him her friends never talked to her), and to tell her brother that she is OK and he doesn't need to save her anymore and he can be the person that he wants to be and she will not overshadow his dreams and achievements (through Jack and Hannah and the fight). Overall it is sad, but everyone was better off thinking that she killed herself rather than it being an accident or killed. Each of the points in time above is when the character realizes that they did not know her, and from that point accepted their culpability and sparked their change. It is that last bit of irony that we really know what happens that pulls the story together.
I don't think she absolves them of their sins, in fact it holds them directly accountable for them and drives their change.(less) (hide spoiler)]
“Before that she hadn’t realized how fragile happiness was, how if you were careless, you could knock it over and shatter it.”
This book is a fantastic character portrait. I don't read these kinds of stories too often - family dramas with a focus on the everyday - but when I do I'm usually pleasantly surprised. As much as I'm a lover of amazing story arcs with problems and terrifying consequences, there really is something so fascinating about... people.
A book that focuses on the dynamics betwe ...more
this book is absolutely perfect.
it's easily one of the best contemporary family dramas i have ever read, and i have read more than a few.
ng's prose is outstanding, and her characters are vibrant, completely three-dimensional, and the way their stories knot up in each other is superb.
it opens with the death of sixteen-year-old lydia, the beloved middle child of marilyn and james lee. marilyn and james are a mixed-race chinese/caucasian couple living in a small town in ohio in ...more
Boy oh boy was I impressed by this book. Before I started reading it I was expecting something Lovely Bones esc. No. So much better.
This story is kicks off with the reader finding out about the death of the "favorite child" Lydia, with this I assumed it would just be an emotional book about finding the cause of death ect ect. Nope. But also yes. This book's scope is beyond what I was first expecting and branches off in so many directions as we follow ...more
Then, the rest of the book happened.
I hated all of the characters. I hated the perfectly executed sentences. I hated the story. I hated the ending.
Oh, and I really hated how half of the book was written in italics. I would usually insert something sarcastic or witty here about the use of italics in the book, but I just can't do it. But, man, I hated her overuse of slanting ...more
It’s the 1970's and James of Chinese descent, born in the U.S has since he was a young boy, just wanted to fit in. The racism he experiences through his life follows to present day and to his mixed race children. He focuses his need and desire to fit in on his middle daughter, Lydia. He wants ...more
Have you ever felt invisible? Like you were hiding in plain sight? Or like you just didn't measure up? Like you have to fake it till you make it? For the Lee family, this is par for the course, for each member of the family has felt one or more of these things at one time in their lives, if not for their entire lives.
James and Marilyn Lee are a Chinese-American couple with three children, Nath, Lydia and Hannah. Growing up Chinese in the 50's, James, was an outsider - he longed to fit i ...more
Everything I Never Told You centers around the Lee family: James, the Chinese-American professor who lectures on the epitome of what was never attainable for him—true Americanism—Marilyn, the blond wife who’d always dreamed of being a doctor when female doctors were a rare phenomenon only to turn out just what her mother had hoped and what Marilyn had always wished to avoid, and their three children, Nathan, Lydia and Hannah. James and Marilyn focus ...more
This book offers one of the coolest family/character explorations I've ever read. I love books that dive into characters' morally grey area, and this was especially interesting because each character's perspective on their family member's death was so distinct. I felt for every character on the page and there was never a dull moment. This was really masterfully made and well fleshed out, and it was as gorgeous as it was tragic. The audiobook for this was great and the writing style was ...more
”Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet. 1977, May 3, six thirty in the morning, no one knows anything but this innocuous fact: Lydia is late for breakfast.”
This is how the book begins. They hit like a punch, knocking the wind out of you, these first sentences. And yet, while this part of the story runs throughout these pages, each person viewing the circumstances that led to her death in their own, inimitable way, this is the story of the years before, of all that led up to thi ...more
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.
I'm pleased with my decision to put a few weeks of d ...more
The book’s opening is austere: “Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet. 1977, May 3, six thirty in the morning, no one knows anything but this innocuous fact: Lydia is late for breakfast.” From the bare bones of that terrible fact, the story blooms, tendril after tendril, the past entwining the present and reaching into the future.
James Lee is an American-born Chinese professor of history, teaching at Middlewood Colleg ...more
This is the story of a dysfunctional family dealing with the death of 16-year-old Lydia, the middle child. You get to see snapshots of each family member's life, in ...more
As I began this book, my mind was a clean slate, with absolutely no preconceived ideas about it, so I was really surprised by it, and stunned by my emotional response to it. Once I started it, I literally did not move from the couch until I had turned the last page.
One of the main topics addressed here is the interracial marriage between a white woman, Marilyn, and an American Chinese man, James, who marry in the lat ...more
“They will dissect this last evening for years to come. What had they missed that they should have seen? What small gesture, forgotten, might have changed everything? They will pick it down to the bones, wondering how this had all gone so wrong, and they will never be sure.”
Hrrrrrrrrm. Good news is, I don’t think it’s necessarily only me this time.
The problem for me with Everything I Never Told You was with the characters. I don’t ...more
The blue-eyed 16 year old daughter of an Asian father and a Caucasian has died in the spring of 1977, the year that the summer will be punctuated with gun shots from the Son of Sam.
Lydia goes to bed the night before she dies like it's any other night. In the morning she is gone. A couple of days later her body is found in the middle of a lake.
This book is about how and why she died. But more than that it's about the lives of herself, her parents, her ...more
The story is beautifully told and the prose has an eloquence to it that you only come across once in awhile in novels.
This is not only the story of a Chinese-American family losing a teenage daughter, it is a story of racism, of a family trying to fit into a community and a community that fails to see a family in cr ...more
Let me tell you: Everything I Never Told You belongs on my imaginary "omg-omg-omg" shelf. Some books spin me into a hazy trance, while others wrap up my attention with such ferocity that I have no choice but to whisper-scream "omg-omg-omg" as I read them. Celeste Ng's sharp storytelling, three-dimensional characters, and incisive writing all made me say "omg-omg-omg" over and over throughout her debut novel, something I have not done for at least a month.
Lydia is dead, but her family do ...more
It was still a good book, even if my mood grew darker as the story went along. I think that the overall story was interesting and the relationships in the story are written well. Also, the development along the way is fascinating even if gloomy.
There is a lot of poorly defined time jumping, but, while that has bothered me in other books, I was okay with it here. Somehow I ...more
A story about expectations, about fitting in or not, being ...more
A book full of deep feeling!!! Page after page after page!!!!!
We are reminded that it can take decades to comprehend the past, let alone make amends with it.
Unsentimental ....yet a brave-bold-heart-baring story.
"Everything I Never Told You" is one of the best books I've read this year!!!!!!
It's definitely a dark book, which proved to be more than I can handle emotionally at the moment, so about halfway through I started skimming to the end. I wasn't surprised by the ending, so I obviously got the gist of the last half of it just fine. O ...more
James and Marilyn.....both self-absorbed parents......force their own lost hopes and dreams in life upon their poor children (particularly their favorite Lydia) that more often than not causes jealousy and makes all three miserable to boot.
As a mixed-race family in the 1970's, their struggles of dealing with ignorant people and their stupid prejudices adds m...more
Celeste Ng is an American writer and novelist. She has released many short stories that have been published in a variety of literary journals. Ng's first novel, "Everything I Never Told You", was released on June 26, 2014 and has won many awards such as Amazon Book of the year as well as praise from critics. Ng's short story "Girls at Play" won a Pushcart Prize in 2012.
تاریخ نخستین خوانش داستان: روز بیست و نهم ماه ژانویه سال 2015 میلادی
عنوان: تمام آنچه که ...more
I am totally drained.
Celeste Ng takes you completely out of your comfortable surroundings and SLAMS you into the minds and souls of every person in this book who are going through a seemingly irremediable tragedy. You experience all their heartache, pain, hopelessness, and regrets. Most of all, it's the love that is felt so deeply but never openly expressed that shatters their world and will not allow you to abandon them nor this book--no matter how difficult it is to read.
I truly loved th ...more
|Play Book Tag: Everthing I Never Told You by Celeste Ng - 5 stars||6||25||Nov 08, 2018 08:16PM|
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