HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
Loading...

Everything I Never Told You (original 2014; edition 2015)

by Celeste Ng (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,6683171,811 (3.89)206
"Lydia is dead. But they don't know this yet. So begins the story of this exquisite debut novel, about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee; their middle daughter, a girl who inherited her mother's bright blue eyes and her father's jet-black hair. Her parents are determined that Lydia will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue-in Marilyn's case that her daughter become a doctor rather than a homemaker, in James's case that Lydia be popular at school, a girl with a busy social life and the center of every party. When Lydia's body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together tumbles into chaos, forcing them to confront the long-kept secrets that have been slowly pulling them apart. James, consumed by guilt, sets out on a reckless path that may destroy his marriage. Marilyn, devastated and vengeful, is determined to find a responsible party, no matter what the cost. Lydia's older brother, Nathan, is certain that the neighborhood bad boy Jack is somehow involved. But it's the youngest of the family-Hannah-who observes far more than anyone realizes and who may be the only one who knows the truth about what happened. A profoundly moving story of family, history, and the meaning of home, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, exploring the divisions between cultures and the rifts within a family, and uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another"--… (more)
Member:SGLongstaff
Title:Everything I Never Told You
Authors:Celeste Ng (Author)
Info:Penguin Books (2015), Edition: Reprint, 297 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

Work details

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng (2014)

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 206 mentions

English (314)  Piratical (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (316)
Showing 1-5 of 314 (next | show all)
Well written. Detailed emotional and psychological motions of a mixed parent's family in an era where such unity is still unheard of and many will view them with distaste, even abhor such marriage. Their struggle of being accepted and chasing a dream have been passed on to their kids which will slowly but surely part them instead. These traits are normal particularly in Asian families. I truly empathise with Nathan, Lydia and Hannah. A book with lots of religion and human values to ponder on. ( )
  Sholee | Sep 9, 2021 |
It took 200 pages to get to char siu bao, the first and only Chinese used in a book about a mixed family. Were the children not curious about their grandparents? Not a red envelope in sight? No Chinese cuss words that children always gravitate towards, simply because they were forbidden? I didn't grow up mixed, so maybe that's just how it was.

I think this book was effective in portraying the family, but not as lean as it could be. There seemed to be redundant clauses and unnecessary descriptions. I'm not sure, given the time frame, that Lydia's somewhat mild reaction to Jack near the end was realistic for attitudes at that time. I do not think the themes of assimilation, and trying to shed one's Chineseness, of gender expectations, and trying to pursue male-dominated science, really needs the 1970s. And why are random presidential facts thrown in every once in a while, to remind us that it was back then and not now? Maybe Ng's point was that these themes are ongoing and we will forget what decade it is. But it feels a bit forced.

The academic struggle is real. I know people with parents like that, even if mine were chill. Liked the book. It's worth a (quick) read. ( )
  tonberrysc | Aug 20, 2021 |
I don't even know where to begin.

This has to be one of the most honest, real novels I have read in a long time. The exploration of parents as flawed people, just like us, the feeling of duty to please that children have, the way that delusions can become so real and so necessary to survive. Every character in this novel was fleshed out, important, and it was impossible not to empathise.

Celeste Ng has easily become an auto-buy author for me. The writing is consistent, prose is beautifully paced, nothing overdone or left undone. Excellent read, and I highly recommend it. ( )
  SarahRita | Aug 11, 2021 |
Well written but not my cup of tea. If you enjoy family problem novels where characters don't talk to each other about what's happening emotionally or have any friends to discuss anything with then you may enjoy it. My mother enjoys those books so I know there's a market for it. Reminded me of Ordinary People from back in the day.
Well constructed, definitely pulled me through and I wanted to find out how Lydia arrived at her fate. Well deployed time setting details. The only anachronism I noted was Jack's condoms - in the late 70s condoms were still a shameful/thrilling/punchline item.
Generations of no friends. I didn't like any of these characters. ( )
  Je9 | Aug 10, 2021 |
This book punched me straight into my stomach and left me speechless. It's one of those stories that requires room to process. A book that can't be followed up with another right away. It's too good. Too tragic. Too touching. Too devastating. From the very first sentence - "Lydia is dead" - we know that, well, Lydia is dead and from there we learn, what happened to the girl and why. It's the story about a family in the 60s and 70s of the last century. Man, son of first-generation Asian immigrants, marries American woman. Back then, that was still a big deal (and we live in a world right now where it seems like it's becoming a big deal again, but that's another horrible story). What was also a big deal back then: women who don't want to end up as mothers and wives at home, cooking meals, taking care of the household. Marilyn is such a woman. She basically despises the life her own mother, her cooking books and her good-housewife attitude. Meanwhile, Marilyn's husband James had to deal with his own problems as an Asian kid in the USA. And Lydia is the daughter who has to deal with all kinds of expectations from her parents. Her mother wants to see her daughter taking on the path she was never allowed to go and become a doctor. Her father wants her to be always nice to everyone and friendly and never complain so that she makes friends and becomes popular at school, something he was never able to be. Then there's son Nathan who has to deal with the fact that Lydia always comes first, that he isn't what his father wants him to be and that no one is interested in his good grades and his interest in astronautics and space technology. Finally, there's Hannah. The youngest. She's mostly ignored by everyone else but seems to see and understand the most.

This is a story of parents damaging their kids. But also, of parents loving their kids but projecting their own hopes and expectations on them, never realizing, that the kids want something different. It's a story about parents wanting to erase the faults of their own upbringing but making entirely new mistakes. And a story about kids who want to be "good" and who love their parents so much that they fear to disappoint them. A vicious cycle.

That book has touched me very deeply. Excellent writing by Celeste Ng. I have read and loved "Little Fires Everywhere" but this one is even a tad bit better.

I'm referring to the audiobook, read by the always wonderful Cassandra Campbell. 5 stars to her as well! ( )
  Heidi64 | Jul 18, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 314 (next | show all)
“Everything I Never Told You” is a beautifully crafted study of dysfunction and grief. Yes, it may miss a few notes, but the ones it does play will resonate with anyone who has ever had a family drama, never mind a gift.
added by ozzer | editBoston Globe, Clea Simon (Jul 1, 2014)
 
Everything I Never Told You," Celeste Ng's excellent first novel about family, love and ambition, opens with a death.....In the end, Ng deftly pulls together the strands of this complex, multigenerational novel. "Everything I Never Told You" is an engaging work that casts a powerful light on the secrets that have kept an American family together — and that finally end up tearing it apart.
 
Celeste Ng recounts this tragically sad story with sympathy and style and, in its denouement, a real sense of redemption.
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ng, Celesteprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Campbell, CassandraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jakobeit, BrigitteÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Peterzon-Kotte, SaskiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
for my family
First words
Lydia is dead.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

"Lydia is dead. But they don't know this yet. So begins the story of this exquisite debut novel, about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee; their middle daughter, a girl who inherited her mother's bright blue eyes and her father's jet-black hair. Her parents are determined that Lydia will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue-in Marilyn's case that her daughter become a doctor rather than a homemaker, in James's case that Lydia be popular at school, a girl with a busy social life and the center of every party. When Lydia's body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together tumbles into chaos, forcing them to confront the long-kept secrets that have been slowly pulling them apart. James, consumed by guilt, sets out on a reckless path that may destroy his marriage. Marilyn, devastated and vengeful, is determined to find a responsible party, no matter what the cost. Lydia's older brother, Nathan, is certain that the neighborhood bad boy Jack is somehow involved. But it's the youngest of the family-Hannah-who observes far more than anyone realizes and who may be the only one who knows the truth about what happened. A profoundly moving story of family, history, and the meaning of home, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, exploring the divisions between cultures and the rifts within a family, and uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another"--

No library descriptions found.

Book description
The daughter of a Chinese American family is found dead, turning the family's lives upside down.
Haiku summary

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (3.89)
0.5 1
1 13
1.5 6
2 63
2.5 20
3 298
3.5 102
4 636
4.5 86
5 341

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 162,237,465 books! | Top bar: Always visible