Sunday, January 11, 2015

Book Review: Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng


Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng is the story of a family that cannot seem to talk to one another and share their true thoughts and feelings. This lack of communication results in many tragedies, some small and some massive. The novel begins with the death of the teenage daughter of the family, Lydia. The rest of the novel mostly revolves around the family trying to understand her death, and the ramifications of her death on each of them.

I thoroughly enjoyed Everything I Never Told You. It's a tragic story, but not depressing. It addresses the struggles of mixed-race children in the 1970s and earlier, the impact of a parent's past experiences on their children, and the effect of focusing on one child to the detriment of the others. The story unfolds through the perspective of different members of the family, which helps the reader to feel more connected to each of them and know what they were thinking since they don't speak their true feelings out loud.

While the story takes place in the 1970s, it reads more like contemporary fiction than historical fiction. I think today's world is less concerned with mixed-race couples but I also think there are plenty of places in the world where this prejudice continues. Each family member in this story struggles to balance their own desires with their family's expectations, a contemporary issue that most people face at some point in their lives.

If you're looking for a novel that digs deeply into the complex relationships within a family, I definitely recommend Everything I Never Told You.

My Rating: 4/5

Visit the author's website
Book club kit for Everything I Never Told You

This review was written based on a copy of Everything I Never Told You that I received from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This post includes Amazon Affiliate links.

2 comments:

  1. This is a story that I've had on hold at the library for what seems like forever! I was worried about it being a downer, so I'm glad to hear that it isn't especially depressing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I found it more thought-provoking than depressing, so hopefully you find it the same.

      Delete

Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to hear your thoughts!