Title: Everything I Never Told You
Author: Celeste Ng
Method of Reading: Audiobook
Thoughts: AMAZING debut novel. It taps into our human need for acceptance, love and fulfillment.
Synopsis: The favorite daughter of the Lee family, a mixed raced family living in 1970s Ohio, is dead. As the family faces the past, their secrets and their loss, will they spin out of control or try to put the pieces back together?
Recommended To: Anyone who likes to feel things when they read.
I LOVE stellar debut novels. As a writer, I celebrate the author’s success. I really do cheer for them. You show ’em, Celeste Ng!
What Lies Beneath
What I love about this book is the focus on the unspoken truths that lie just beneath the surface. It’s about the little secrets that people keep from each other. While these things go unsaid, they fuel the characters’ actions, and ultimately their futures. There is a lot that is implied on one end and misunderstood on the other. As Ng scratches the surface just a little bit the truth, both ugly and beautiful, spills out.
In a relatively short novel, Ng seamless weaves together the point of view of each family member while fluidly transitioning between selected points on their timelines. As the story progresses, so do the characters.
Sense of Smell
I like the emphasis of smell expressed by each character. Multiple family members refer to the smell of Lydia, who is dead but still lingers. It’s like people have an indecernable scent that is only picked up in their absence.
Expectation vs. Reality
This book delves into the topic of our expectations versus the actual outcome. What parents expect of their children is very different than what children want for themselves. What people expect out of life is very different from what it turns out to be.
I thought the book was narrated well by Cassandra Campbell, but I didn’t like the snooty tone she gave to James, the father and Nath, the brother. The tone did not match their characters.