Latest Review

Everything I Never Told

Author: Celeste Ng

Category: Adult

Genre: Family Drama

Pages: 304 Pages

Format: Audiobook (Audible)

Published: June 2014

Book rating: 9/10

Mommy readability rating: 7/10 


(Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links)


Summary: “Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.” So begins this exquisite novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee, and her parents are determined that she will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue. But when Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together is destroyed, tumbling them into chaos. A profoundly moving story of family, secrets, and longing, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another.


Review: Everything I Never Told Youis a beautifully written story about family tragedy, the events that follow, and the effort it takes to understand those that you think you know best. It also explores the ideas of being different and the various meanings that can have for an individual. I know that this is not a new book, but it's a great one. I had previously read Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere and was hoping that this book’s writing would live up to the excellence of that book. I was not disappointed. Ng is an expert at creating full, real characters, getting to the core of who they are and how they feel. She writes a teenage girl as well as she does a grown man and even perfectly depicts the emotions and world view of a young child. This book is the ultimate picture of a family, with all of its realities and imperfections. But even through the sadness of it all, Ng is able to write in a way that the reader is left with hope. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys this kind of story and I look forward to whatever Ng writes next.


Mommy Readability Rating: The low Mommy Readability Rating for this book comes purely from the rough, emotional subject matter. As I listened to this book, rather than reading a physical copy, I am not aware of the written pacing. But if it’s like the audio version, there were plenty of places to pause and take breaks for when you have only short amounts of time to read. There is a lot of time jumping from present to past, however, which can make returns to the story a bit tough when you don’t have the pages in front of you to refresh your memory.


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