Thursday, November 19, 2015

Book Review-Everything I Never Told You

Sometimes a title catches your eye-Started Early, Took my Dog, The Joy of X, All the Light we Cannot See-they almost beg to be read.  A title that recenlty piqued my interest was Everything I Never Told You.
The story is about a family in the 70's.  The mom, Marilyn, was brought up by a single mother who thought women should be good cooks and homemakers.  Marilyn felt stifled by that vision and wanted to be a doctor.  The father, James, is first generation Chinese and was never quite accepted in school.  They have three children and live in a small college town where they are the only Chinese-American family.  Both parents have high hopes for their children, that the children will not be outsiders and be successful.  Nathan, the oldest, is weighed down by his father's expectations, but it is Lydia, the middle child who feels the pressure from both parents, especially her mother because she did not fulfill her dream of going to medical school.  Hannah, the third child is almost ignored by her parents, so she is able to watch the family dynamics.  At the start of the story we learn that Lydia has committed suicide.  Marilyn is sure that someone has murdered her and James is so overwhelmed with grief that he seeks comfort outside his family.  The book jumps back and forth in time so we learn the path that has led the family to this crisis.
The author is very astute at dealing with the grieving process and the aftermath of a sudden death.  She tells the story from various viewpoints so the reader gets to understand where everyone is coming from.  It is a powerful story of a family dealing with a great tragedy, told with empahty. 

Everything I Never Told You
Everything I Never Told You
By Ng, Celeste
2014-06 - Penguin Press
9781594205712 Check Our Catalog
Alex Awards (2015), Massachusetts Book Award (MassBook) (2015)

"Lydia is dead. But they don't know this yet" . . . So begins thestory of this exquisite debut novel, about a ChineseAmerican family living in 1970s small-town Ohio.Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee;their middle daughter, a girl who inherited hermother's bright blue eyes and her father's jet-blackhair. Her parents are determined that Lydia willfulfill the dreams they were unable …More

Complimentary Reads

Before You Know Kindness
Before You Know Kindness
By Bohjalian, Chris A.
2004-10 - Random House Large Print Publishing
9780375434181 Check Our Catalog
For ten summers, the Seton family - all three generations - met at their country home in New England to spend a week together playing tennis, badminton, and golf, and savoring gin and tonics on the wraparound porch to celebrate the end of the season. In the eleventh summer, everything changed. A hunting rifle with a single cartridge left in the chamber wound up in exactly the wrong hands at …More

The Lovely Bones
The Lovely Bones
By Sebold, Alice
2002-07 - Little Brown and Company
9780316666343 Check Our Catalog
Book Sense Book of the Year Award (2003), Bram Stoker Awards (2002), Buckeye Children's Book Award (2005), Colorado Blue Spruce Award (2004), Eliot Rosewater Indiana High School Book Award (2005), Kentucky Bluegrass Award (2004), South Carolina Childrens, Junior and Young Adult Book Award (2005), Tayshas Reading (2004)

From the author of the stunning memoir, "Lucky, " comes a fiction debut narrated from heaven. Starting with the first chapter, 14-year-old Susie Salmon recounts her rape and murder and watches her family as they cope with their grief. …More

My Sister's Keeper
My Sister's Keeper
By Picoult, Jodi
2004-04 - Atria Books
9780743454520 Check Our Catalog
Alex Awards (2005)

Written with grace, wisdom, and sensitivity, this novel is about a teen who was conceived as a bone marrow match for her sister Kate, and what happens when she begins to question who she really is. …More

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