Author: Celeste Ng
Publisher: Penguin Books
About the Book
“Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.”
When Lydia Lee is late to breakfast one morning, her protective mother, Marilyn, is instantly suspicious. When Marilyn goes to Lydia’s room, and sees that Lydia is not in bed (where Marilyn only half expects to find her anyway), her suspicion quickly turns to panic.
A slow-building family drama, full of questions, none more important than the original: what happened to Lydia?
What I Thought
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng was well paced, begging to be read further, whilst simultaneously feeling like a sparse reflection on character and family values. Ng evenly spaces important backstory, and events current to the 1970s setting, and carefully weaves them into one seamless novel. The way she paces the book is spot on and worth examining to learn something for your own writing.
The changing narrative voice allows for different, sometimes conflicting, perspectives on the various issues brought up throughout the book.
The story is examined through the eyes of all members of the Lee family, presenting different views on the slowly crumbling family relationships, and allowing the reader to empathise with all positions. I liked that about the narrative, but I did find it a little hard to follow at times.
This is an adult novel, recommended for readers 16+. It’s already become a classic and Celeste Ng is definitely a writer to put on your ‘must read’ list immediately. Every book of hers is outstanding so far.
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