Everything I Never Told You

Everything I Never Told YouEverything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng (2014)

Summary

Lydia, the golden child of a mixed race couple, is dead, but it will be days before her body is found in the nearby lake. Lydia’s Chinese father wanted her to have the social life he never had while her white mother, who gave up her dream of being a doctor to have a family, pushed her academically. Now the lives of her parents and siblings are turned upside-down as they struggle to make sense of her loss and confront the secrets and strains that led to her death.

Review

Everything I Never Told You is told through Lydia’s family members — the father who wanted her to fit in, the mother who wanted her to stand out, and the overlooked siblings. It’s an emotional story about identity, unreasonable expectations, racial and gender prejudice, and family dynamics. Don’t expect a “feel good” story with this book.

You might like this book if you are interested in…

  • Parents projecting their hopes and fears on their children
  • Strong character development
  • Dysfunctional family dynamics
  • Racial and gender prejudice
  • Fitting in vs. being different