Everything I Never Told You

Everything I Never Told You

Large Print - 2014
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Lydia, the middle and favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee, inherited her mother's bright blue eyes and her father's jet-black hair. Her parents are determined that Lydia will fulfill dreams they were unable to pursue -- in Marilyn's case that her daughter becomes a doctor, in James's that she is popular with a busy social life. When Lydia's body is found in the local lake, the balancing act that has kept the Lee family together tumbles into chaos.
Publisher: Waterville, Maine :, Thorndike Press,, 2014.
Edition: Large print edition.
ISBN: 9781410472458
Characteristics: 383 pages.


From Library Staff

Jcheng1234 Oct 23, 2017

A sad and touching story. The pain and loneliness of the characters weighed heavily on me even after I finished reading the book. The atmosphere feels so gray and suffocating. Interracial marriage in a small town in the 60s was hard. Expectations of parents on children to fulfill their own ... Read More »

Catmamakim Sep 13, 2016

I thought there would be more to the story but it was nevertheless a good read. Perhaps my expectations were too high as I had heard great things about this book. An interesting read and a page-turner.

ehbooklover Jan 14, 2015

First off: I would definitely not consider this to be a mystery. What it is: a beautifully written book that tells the story of a dysfunctional family who is dealing with unimaginable grief after the unexplainable loss of a loved one. It also examines themes of race, identity, and acceptance. A h... Read More »

debwalker May 07, 2014

Powerful - a family tragedy, family secrets, and the experience of growing up Asian American in a small town.

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lkknights Mar 21, 2018

One of my all-time favorite novels. This book focuses on one family, and the character development, prose, and storyline make it worthwhile. Celestial Ng iso my favorite author, and though I enjoyed Little Fires Everywhere more than this one, Everything I Never Told You is a close second. I highly recommend this, and if you know me, you've heard this a million times already!

Jan 24, 2018

This was a quick read. Compelling storyline, complex characters, interesting time period. I thought the ending was a bit quick, but overall a excellent book, well worth the read. A fine and talented writer.

Jcheng1234 Oct 23, 2017

A sad and touching story. The pain and loneliness of the characters weighed heavily on me even after I finished reading the book. The atmosphere feels so gray and suffocating. Interracial marriage in a small town in the 60s was hard. Expectations of parents on children to fulfill their own dreams, being different and not able to fit in were even harder, especially for a teenager in a dysfunctional family. How could things get so wrong? It was sad that the parents knew so little about their children, what they were thinking or going through in life. The book is well written and for sure I am going to read Celeste Ng’s next book “Little Fires Everywhere.”

Oct 18, 2017

Easy-to-read compelling mystery. Provides a touching look at the weight of parental expectations and an intimate portrait of a dysfunctional family. Celeste Ng has an uncanny ability to do justice to all sides of a story.

Sep 20, 2017

Reviewer(s) please refrain from giving away pertinent details of the story.

Sep 10, 2017

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng is a compelling story of a Chinese-American family grieving over the death of their daughter, Lydia Lee, who held all the dreams that her parents dropped on her shoulders. This book switches between the past and present lives of the Lee family, as if showing what they are now versus what they were before Lydia’s death. If I had to be honest, I didn’t find this book to be particularly interesting in the beginning or near the middle, and found that the author’s style of writing wasn’t strong enough to write the tragedies that the family was going through. But later, I realized that Ng’s writing actually supported the idea of the story, which was to show the simplicity of life and reality; Lydia was Marilyn and James’s most beloved child, and was expected to be the person that they could never be, and Lydia went along with it. Ng’s writing style didn’t over-dramatize Lydia’s thoughts or the situations in the book, but simply described everything to show that reality isn’t really this complicated; we make it complicated. I rate this 3/5 stars. I recommend this book for ages 13 and up.
- @ilovefood of The Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

A no-name American town faces the death of a young Asian girl, the book is mainly how the immigrant family copes with the loss. And how their carefully built facade crumbles away in the wake of mourning, this book focuses on each individual of the family's personal life. The oldest brother always feeling inadequate when his parents compare him to his seemingly perfect younger sister. The youngest sibling is practically invisible, the dad just wants the perfect world he never got when he was younger, and the mother regrets that she never got to pursue her dreams because she got pregnant. And the world is full of fake smiles for the murdered middle perfect child.
- @Florence of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

AL_ALISON Aug 13, 2017

A wonderfully written story that explores dynamics in a mixed-race family in the 60s. The daughter disappears and the family must examine if they ever knew her, or if they really even know each other. Not technically mystery per se but weaves in elements of genre fiction that kept me reading!

Jul 11, 2017

What a wonderful book. I can't wait for her next one.

May 16, 2017

Powerful: mixed marriage: 3 offspring: middle daughter commits suicide: victim of mother's unfulfilled dreams of becoming a doctor, the favored child by both parents, father, Japanese, mother, Caucasian. Father pressured daughter to do whatever was necessary to be popular, to fit in.

The weight of their expectations overwhelmed her, she was suffocating-she chose to drown herself.

Was affected by this novel: how parents, thinking they are doing the "right" thing, completely overlook the essence of their child.

VaughanPLKim May 06, 2017

This novel was a quick read for me. Ng's writing is beautiful and engaging. The book explores family secrets, racism, sexism, and parental expectations.

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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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