Everything I Never Told You (Celeste Ng)

everything i never told you celeste ng
photo from celesteng.com

There are lots of conflicts in this novel.

It opens with Lydia’s death. One morning, her family members just realize that she’s already missing. They call the police, eventually; the search begins. Yet, to their surprise, Lydia’s body is found at the bottom of the lake near their house.

Someone’s behind her death, Marilyn, her mother, thinks. Even Nath, her brother, believes a guy named Jack has something to do with it, since they have been too close recently. But they are both wrong.

That’s because Lydia’s death is more complex than any of them has ever imagined. As the narrative progresses, readers are able to get to know more about Lydia’s family and how complicated things have been for them from the very beginning and how these complications have, directly and indirectly, led to her fall.

Everything I Never Told You is not just about Lydia and her death. Instead, it is a portrait of a family that has gone through a lot, and is constantly forced to face issues concerning race and gender.

It is heart-felt and thought-provoking at the same time. Its wise use of dialogues, clever character design, and impressive use of setting enable it to raise important questions without sounding too didactic.

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