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Everything I Never Told You
by Celeste Ng


Overview - "Lydia is dead. But they don t know this yet" . . . So begins thestory of this exquisite debut novel, about a ChineseAmerican family living in 1970s small-town Ohio.Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee;their middle daughter, a girl who inherited hermother s bright blue eyes and her father s jet-blackhair.  Read more...

 
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Overview

"Lydia is dead. But they don t know this yet" . . . So begins thestory of this exquisite debut novel, about a ChineseAmerican family living in 1970s small-town Ohio.Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee;their middle daughter, a girl who inherited hermother s bright blue eyes and her father s jet-blackhair. Her parents are determined that Lydia willfulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue inMarilyn s case that her daughter become a doctorrather than a homemaker, in James s case that Lydiabe popular at school, a girl with a busy social life andthe center of every party.
When Lydia s body is found in the local lake, thedelicate balancing act that has been keeping the Leefamily together tumbles into chaos, forcing them toconfront the long-kept secrets that have been slowlypulling them apart. James, consumed by guilt, setsout on a reckless path that may destroy his marriage.Marilyn, devastated and vengeful, is determined tofind a responsible party, no matter what the cost.Lydia s older brother, Nathan, is certain that theneighborhood bad boy Jack is somehow involved.But it s the youngest of the family Hannah whoobserves far more than anyone realizes and whomay be the only one who knows the truth aboutwhat 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 familyportrait, exploring the divisions between culturesand the rifts within a family, and uncovering theways in which mothers and daughters, fathers andsons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another."

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781594205712
  • ISBN-10: 159420571X
  • Publisher: Penguin Press
  • Publish Date: June 2014
  • Page Count: 297
  • Reading Level: Ages 18-UP

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Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2014-04-14
  • Reviewer: Staff

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 the middle and favorite child of Marilyn Walker, a white Virginian, and James Lee, a first-generation Chinese-American. Marilyn and James meet in 1957, when she is a premed at Radcliffe and he, a graduate student, is teaching one of her classes. The two fall in love and marry, over the objections of Marilyn’s mother, whose comment on their interracial relationship is succinct: “It’s not right.” Marilyn gets pregnant and gives up her dream of becoming a doctor, devoting her life instead to raising Lydia and the couple’s other two children, Nathan and Hannah. Then Marilyn abruptly moves out of their suburban Ohio home to go back to school, only to return before long. When Lydia is discovered dead in a nearby lake, the family begins to fall apart. As the police try to decipher the mystery of Lydia’s death, her family realize that they didn’t know her at all. Lydia is remarkably imagined, her unhappy teenage life crafted without an ounce of cliché. Ng’s prose is precise and sensitive, her characters richly drawn. Agent: Julie Barer, Barer Literary. (July)

 
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