Everything I Never Told You

Everything I Never Told You

eBook - 2014
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"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"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : The Penguin Press, 2014
ISBN: 9781101634615
Characteristics: 1 online resource (297 pages)
Call Number: eBook


From Library Staff

List - Daytime Book Group
DCLbookclubs Sep 14, 2016

This title will be discussed Tuesday, February 4, 2020, in Event Hall B. Book Club Express kit available.

This and Ng's second novel, "Little Fires Everywhere," are popular choices for book clubs due to their presentation of complex but discussable issues.

From the critics

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Dec 09, 2019

I really loved the writing in this book. The author nailed the emotion and LACK OF emotion. I will be reading all of her future books! :-)

HCL_staff_reviews Dec 06, 2019

I loved this book. By turns heartbreaking, frustrating, shocking and infuriating, this story is about a teenage girl named Lydia in the 1970s whose body is found at the bottom of the local pond. The way each member of her family grieves is painful and realistic, since everyone knew Lydia was the favorite child. Did someone hurt her, did she do this to herself, or was it an accident? The lovely writing will pull you right from the very beginning, and during the last two pages I cried pretty much nonstop. There's a little bit of a waiting list for this title, but it's so worth it. I'm going to buy it. Those last few sentences... — Allison C., Maple Grove Library

Oct 26, 2019

292 pages

Sep 26, 2019

The book is sad, sad, sad. Ng's other book is sad, sad, sad. Hopefully her real life isn't like this. Gosh, Ng needs to lighten up some. I can't imagine how depressed Ng must be when writing her books.

Sep 20, 2019

Very good easy read

Aug 23, 2019

I highly recommend! Not even two chapters in I remember thinking, ‘This is the most beautiful book.’

The story of a Chinese American family in the 1970s. I found this book sad and depressing - 2 parents with no parenting skills and the children that paid the price.

loonylovesgood Jul 18, 2019

Devastatingly sad, but very well-written. Probably one of the most heartbreaking books I've ever read.

Jul 11, 2019

I really enjoyed this book. One death has a backstory and the author weaves this into a beautiful and tragic story containing many elements. I'm not really sure how to explain this but I am sure that you will enjoy this read. It has everything you could possibly want in a book. It draws you in and you always want to know what happens next. The ending was slightly confusing though.
I got this as a recommendation from my local library and I must say that the librarians definitely know what is a good book.

Jul 08, 2019

When I first finished this book, I was tempted to give it 1 star because I was so frustrated with the two major characters, the mother and father of the beleagured children in this novel. Then, of course, I realized that my very passion was an indication of just how well-written and affecting this book was. I hesitate to write much because I think it's a difficult book to review without giving away what readers should discover on their own. Suffice to say that my heart was wrung throughout and a better person than I would be forgiving of the parents who acted based on their own disappointments and difficulties, relentless and numbing racial prejudice being amongst them. But how they traumatized each child was what made this book so hard for me, and no, no forgiveness here. Last comment: I loved loved loved Nathan.

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Aug 23, 2019

A few months later, when they were married, they made a pact: to let the past drift away, to stop asking questions, to look forward from then on, never back.

Aug 23, 2019

He smelled the way velvet felt, something you wanted to run your hands over and then press into your face.

Aug 23, 2019

How good the rain would feel, like crying all over her body.

ellensix Jun 05, 2017

All their lives Nath had understood, better than anyone, the lexicon of their family, the things they could never truly explain to outsiders: that a book or a dress meant more than something to read or something to wear; that attention came with expectations that-- like snow-- drifted and settled and crushed you with their weight.

TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 06, 2016

What made something precious? Losing it and finding it.

Nov 05, 2015

“The famous women had bored her. Their stories were all the same: told they couldn’t; decided to anyway. Because they really wanted to, she wondered, or because they were told not to?”

Sep 14, 2015

Don’t ever smile if you don’t want to.


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brihawkins13 Mar 23, 2018

brihawkins13 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Nov 07, 2015

akzfineart thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

CrypticMidnightShadow thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


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siammarino Jan 15, 2015

The apparent suicide of their daughter Lydia threatens to tear the Lee family apart. As Chinese Americans in a small Ohio town, they already feel marginalized. This is a great novel about minorities, prejudice, and parenting mistakes. Never force your child into the career you wished you had pursued!!


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Sexual Content: Read with caution. Not suitable for kids AT ALL

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