Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng...

How I Heard About It:  One of my favorite things about the year-end is all the "Best of 2014" lists.  I especially love the best of fiction lists.  After seeing this title on several lists, I decided to give it a try.  This was the first book that I finished on my Christmas break 2014. Even though I'm technically on a "blog break" over the holidays, I'm going to post my review before I forget all the details.

What It Is About:  Lydia is the middle child of James and Marilyn Lee.  James is Chinese and Marilyn is American.  They have an older son Nath and a younger daughter Hannah.  James is a professor and Marilyn is a stay-at-home mom, but always wanted to be a doctor.  Her mother warned her that if she married James, she would never be able to fulfill her own dreams.  As the years went by, Marilyn began to see that this was true.  She decided to put all of her own dreams into her daughter Lydia's life.  Lydia didn't necessarily want those same things.  The pressure she got from her mother to be perfect academically and the pressure she got from her father to be perfect socially became too much for Lydia.  The family became more and more silent, dysfunctional, and separate.  At some point, something was going to have to change.  None of them though, thought it would be Lydia that brought this change to the family.

What I Thought Of It:  With a bit of a slow start, I truly enjoyed this story.  I liked how it went back and forth in time and told about the characters during different time periods in their lives.  The more I read, the more I wanted to keep reading to find out all of the family "secrets".  There were times when I felt like I knew the characters in the family, and then there were times when I thought I really didn't know them.  The writing was beautiful and the plot flowed quite smoothly.  Each family member made choices that I wasn't happy with, but isn't this why fiction is so fun to read.  I can see why this novel made many "best of" lists for 2014.

Who Should Read It:  Any reader of fiction will enjoy this story.  If you like family stories that look at each member carefully and with ease, you will also enjoy this story.  The novel isn't too long so it won't take much time to read it.  I also think the plot will appeal to many readers because you want to "KNOW" what happened and how it happened.  Happy Reading...

Rating:  4 STARS out of 5 Stars

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