“What secrets could a daughter keep from her mother, anyway?”
About the Book
“Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.” So begins this exquisite novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970’s 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. A profoundly moving story of family, secrets, and longing, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another.
This is the type of read that has you holding your breath to know what is going to happen next. I love the way the author split the story and took you back and through time. Showing us why Marilyn is obsessed with her daughter focusing on excelling in school and why James just wants his daughter to be popular and happy. I know personally I have tried my best to not influence my oldest daughter’s decisions and let her grow into who she wants to be. Although sometimes I feel the need to step in and help.
Lydia’s parents just want her to experience what they haven’t been able to. Unfortunately that leaves Lydia in a place where she isn’t really sure who she is and what she wants. Her older brother Nath on the other hand, knows what he wants and is determined to get it no matter what. He understands his sister Lydia’s plight and tries for as long as he can to help her not feel alone. But this leaves their youngest sister Hannah outside of the circle. Being invisible while in plain site is something I can connect with. Hannah is the youngest and the most sensitive. She feels when something isn’t right, but she just can’t pinpoint her feelings. She just want’s everyone to get along and express the love they have for each other. She loves her family even if they don’t always show her the same love in return.
I enjoyed this book and would recommend it. It was very captivating and emotional. It tied together very well in the end and had a good pace. I feel like the main characters were real and not just taking up space or feeling holes. It is a heavy read but it was well worth it. I would definitely reread this in the future.
4 out of 5