Monday, June 30, 2014

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

When Lydia, a teenager, disappears and is found drowned in a lake, her family wonders about the circumstances of her death.  It's 1977 in Ohio and her parents have suffered prejudice since they married.  Mom Marilyn--blond and Caucasian--gave up her dreams of being a doctor when she married Chinese-American James Lee. James was denied his aspirations of being an American history professor at Harvard because of his race. Lydia was the favored middle child, the one that both Marilyn and James pinned their success on. Marilyn wanted Lydia to become a doctor, while James wanted her to be popular and have all the friends that he never had. Eldest son Nath and younger daughter, Hannah, are left with their own complicated emotions as their sister's passing causes their parents to confront the choices that they've made in their lives. Everything I Never Told You is a beautifully written debut novel that explores the issues of prejudice, individuality and family ties. It would be a great novel for a book discussion.

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