School Library Journal s Best Books of the Year So Far
BookRiot s The Best Books of 2014 So Far
Booklist s Top Ten First Novels of 2014
Booklist Editors' Choice of 2014
Time Out NY s 10 Best Books of 2014 #10
O Magazine s 15 Must Read Literature & Fiction Books of the Year So Far, #4
NYTBR 100 Notable Books of 2014
Huffington Post s Best Books of 2014
NPR Books of the Year
Electric Lit Books of the Year
Buzzfeed s Best Fiction Books of 2014
Alexander Chee, The New York Times Book Review
If we know this story, we haven t seen it yet in American fiction, not until now Ng has set two tasks in this novel s doubled heart to be exciting, and to tell a story bigger than whatever is behind the crime. She does both by turning the nest of familial resentments into at least four smaller, prickly mysteries full of secrets the family members won t share What emerges is a deep, heartfelt portrait of a family struggling with its place in history, and a young woman hoping to be the fulfillment of that struggle. This is, in the end, a novel about the burden of being the first of your kind a burden you do not always survive.
Los Angeles Times
Excellent an accomplished debut heart-wrenching Ng deftly pulls together the strands of this complex, multigenerational novel. Everything I Never Told You is an engaging work that casts a powerful light on the secrets that have kept an American family together and that finally end up tearing it apart.
Wonderfully moving Emotionally precise A beautifully crafted study of dysfunction and grief [This book] will resonate with anyone who has ever had a family drama.
San Francisco Chronicle
A subtle meditation on gender, race and the weight of one generation s unfulfilled ambitions upon the shoulders and in the heads of thenext Ng deftly and convincingly illustrates the degree to which some miscommunications can never quite berectified.
O, The Oprah Magazine
Cleverly crafted, emotionally perceptive Ng sensitively dramatizes issues of gender and race that lie at the heart of the story Ng s themes of assimilation are themselves deftly interlaced into a taut tale of ever deepening and quickening suspense.
Los Angeles Review of Books
Ng moves gracefully back and forth in time, into the aftermath of the tragedy as well as the distant past, and into the consciousness of each member of the family, creating a series of mysteries and revelations that lead back to the original question: what happened to Lydia?...Ng is masterful in her use of the omniscient narrator, achieving both a historical distance and visceral intimacy with each character s struggles and failures On the surface, Ng s storylines are nothing new. There is a mysterious death, a family pulled apart by misunderstanding and grief, a struggle to fit into the norms of society, yet in the weaving of these threads she creates a work of ambitious complexity. In the end, this novel movingly portrays the burden of difference at a time when difference had no cultural value Compelling.
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.
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.
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.
Kevin Nguyen, Grantland:
The emotional core of Celeste Ng s debut is what sets it apart. The different ways in which the Lee family handles Lydia s death create internal friction, and most impressive is the way Ng handles racial politics. With a deft hand, she loads and unpacks the implications of being the only Chinese American family in a small town in Ohio.
Beautiful and poignant . deftly drawn .It s hard to believe that this is a debut novel for Celeste Ng. She tackles the themes of family dynamics, gender and racial stereotyping, and the weight of expectations, all with insight made more powerful through understatement. She has an exact, sophisticated touch with her prose. The sentences are straightforward. She evokes emotions through devastatingly detailed observations.
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Perceptive a skillful and moving portrayal of a family in pain It is to Ng s credit that it is sometimes difficult for the reader to keep going; the pain and unhappiness is palpable. But it is true to the Lees, and Ng tells all.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Impressive In its evocation of a time and place and society largely gone but hardly forgotten, Everything I Never Told You tells much that today s reader should learn, ponder and appreciate.
Quiet and intense A family drama that reveals its secrets slowly, drawing you in."
Dallas Morning News
Powerful [A] beautifully crafted story of a family in pain, and the many reasons, personal and societal, that the Lees have lived most of their lives as strangers to one another. Making us care so deeply about her characters is Ng s triumph.
Ann Arbor Observer
Deeply moving masterful [Ng] doesn t give her characters any easy futures or her readers any false hope.
With the skill of a veteran heart surgeon Ng writes of maternal expectations, ingrained prejudice and sibling conflict in a culture that has just begun to grapple with interracial marriage and shifting gender roles.
Time Out New York
[A] tender debut The novel touches on the myriad paths grief may take, the secrets everyone keeps and how much a tragedy can affect relationships in a family.
Sara Vilkomerson, Entertainment Weekly
When Lydia Lee, the favored daughter in a mixed-race family in 70s Ohio, turns up dead, the Lees delicate ecosystem is destroyed. Her parents marriage unravels, her brother is consumed by vengeance, and her sister always an afterthought hovers nervously, knowing more than anyone realizes. Ng skillfully gathers each thread of the tragedy, uncovering secrets and revealing poignant answers. Grade: A-.
[A] moving tale of daughters for whom cultural disconnect is but the first challenge.
[A] haunting debut Ng is a gifted storyteller but an even more gifted character-builder A powerful book about how those left behind must learn to go on living.
Amanda Nelson, Book Riot:
On the surface, this is about a mixed-race Asian-American family dealing with and trying to solve the mysterious death of their favorite teenaged daughter in 70s Ohio (this isn t a spoiler, it happens in the first sentence). What it s really about all the ways we can be an other in society, in our own marriages, in our jobs, and to our parents or children. It s also about pressure the pressure to be with people who are like ourselves, and to fit in, and to be everything our parents want us to be. It s about giving up your career to become a wife and mother, and what that means and doesn t mean. It s about dealing with prejudice. It s about secrets and happiness and misery, and all the things we never tell the people we love. It s about everything, is what I m saying, and not a single word is wasted or superfluous.
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 into spectacular, continuing literary legacies.
Tantalizingly thrilling, Ng s emotionally complex debut novel captures the tension between cultures and generations with the deft touch of a seasoned writer. Ng will be one to watch.
Ng expertly explores and exposes the Lee family s secrets These long-hidden, quietly explosive truths, weighted by issues of race and gender, slowly bubble to the surface of Ng s sensitive, absorbing novel and reverberate long after its final page. Ng s emotionally complex debut novel sucks you in like a strong current and holds you fast until its final secrets surface.
Jesmyn Ward, National Book Award-winning author ofSalvage the Bones
Ng tells a story weighted by death and grief that is vital in all the essential ways; these characters betray and love blindly and are needy and accuse and forgive. They are achingly human, and Ng's writing about them is tender and merciless all at once. At the same time, her story is also about what it means to live in two worlds at the same time, to be Asian and American, an insider and an outsider, and Ng writes about all this and more with terrific nuance.
Uwem Akpan, #1New York Timesbestselling author ofSay You re One of Them
I couldn t stop reading Everything I Never Told You . . . the writing is so smooth and keenly observed. The portrait of each member of the Lee family, the exploration of their mixed-race issues and the search for the killer of their sister and daughter, Lydia, pulled at my heartstrings to the very end.
Dan Chaon, author ofAwait Your Reply
"Everything I Never Told You is a suspenseful and emotionally complex literary mystery novel, which, weaving back and forth in time, unlocks the secrets beneath the surface of family life. Celeste Ng has written a compellingly tense and moving first book."
Ru Freeman, author ofOn Sal Mal Lane andA Disobedient Girl
"Celeste Ng leavens the bridge between the disappearance of a young girl, and the personal histories that precede it, with the larger canvas issues of race and gender, without straying from the riveting emotional territory that make up the cornerstones of family: what is given, what is withheld, and what can never be known. Lydia Lee is every parent's dream, fear, and devastation, wholly loved, just as completely lost. It is impossible to resist grieving alongside each one of these bereft, deeply realized characters, for we live their lives, and their story becomes ours from the first paragraph of this marvelous book."
Book Passage (Corte Madera, CA):
More than a simple portrait of love and loss, this is a beautiful and haunting story of a lost teenage girl attempting to discover her own voice. "show more