Everything I Never Told You

Everything I Never Told You

3.82 (190,160 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

"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 tumbles into chaos, forcing them to confront the long-kept secrets that have been slowly pulling them apart. 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.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 383 pages
  • 140 x 218 x 33mm | 544g
  • United States
  • English
  • Large type / large print
  • Large type / large print edition
  • 1410472450
  • 9781410472458

Review quote

"Entertainment Weekly"
"Both a propulsive mystery and a profound examination of a mixed-race family, Ng's explosive debut chronicles the plight of Marilyn and James Lee after their favored daughter is found dead in a lake."
"Marie Claire"
"The mysterious circumstances of 16-year-old Lydia Lee's tragic death have her loved ones wondering how, exactly, she spent her free time. This ghostly debut novel calls to mind "The Lovely Bones.""
Huffington Post:
"A powerhouse of a debut novel, a literary mystery crafted out of shimmering prose and precise, painful observation about racial barriers, the burden of familial expectations, and the basic human thirst for belonging... Ng's novel grips readers from page one with the hope of unraveling the mystery behind Lydia's death--and boy does it deliver, on every front."
Chris Schluep, "Parade"
"The first chapter of Celeste Ng's debut novel is difficult--the oldest daughter in a family is dead--but what follows is a brilliantly written, surprisingly uplifting exploration of striving in the face of alienation and of the secrets we keep from others. This could be my favorite novel of the year."
Vogue.com:
"[A] moving tale... of daughters for whom cultural disconnect is but the first challenge."
"Publishers Weekly" (starred):
"This emotionally involving debut novel explores themes of belonging using the story of the death of a teenage girl, Lydia, from a mixed-race family in 1970s Ohio...Lydia is remarkably imagined, her unhappy teenage life crafted without an ounce of cliche. Ng's prose is precise and sensitive, her characters richly drawn."
"Library Journal" (starred):
"Ng constructs a mesmerizing narrative that shrinks enormous issues of race, prejudice, identity, and gender into the miniaturist dynamics of a single family. A breathtaking triumph, reminiscent of prophetic debuts by Ha Jin, Chang-rae Lee, and -Chimamanda Adichie, whose first titles matured
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About Celeste Ng

Celeste Ng grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Shaker Heights, Ohio, in a family of scientists. She attended Harvard University and earned an MFA from the University of Michigan (now the Helen Zell Writers' Program at the University of Michigan), where she won the Hopwood Award. Her fiction and essays have appeared in "One Story," "TriQuarterly," "Bellevue Literary Review," the "Kenyon Review Online," and elsewhere, and she is the recipient of the Pushcart Prize. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with her husband and son.
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Rating details

190,160 ratings
3.82 out of 5 stars
5 24% (45,379)
4 43% (81,814)
3 26% (49,416)
2 6% (10,545)
1 2% (3,006)
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