About a Book

Book reviews and thoughts on literature

Everything I Never Told You, Celeste Ng

A book about a girl who dies and how her family handles it. Spoiler alert, they don’t handle it well.

Lydia is found dead in the lake. She leaves behind her mom, dad, older brother, and younger sister. As her family tries to discover how Lydia ended up in the lake, they find they didn’t really know her at all. Thankfully the reader discovers what actually happened, but the same can’t be said of the family. And at the end of the day, they learn to live with the unknowns and be better. Or should I say more intentional people.

When you strip all the other bologna away, and this is one thick sandwich, that’s what the story is. It’s not a bad story, but the parents are so frustrating that they don’t prop the story up for me in the way I think it’s intended.

Now I want to make one thing super clear. The dad is of Chinese decent and has to deal with both real and perceived race issues, and that’s legit. I’m not trying to say those experiences are lesser or unimportant.

What I am saying is that there are things you can control as a parent. Like how you treat your children, and both he and his wife did a garbage job of taking care of their kids.

It was so hard to read how terrible they were, sometimes knowingly, to their kids and then be expected to feel sympathy for them. For the loss of a child, yes. For all the other years of bad parenting, which we discover tons of evidence for, no.

Favoritism, ignoring your kids, being super controlling, putting your kids down all the time, hitting your kid. Nope. I’m sorry your life didn’t turn out how you expected but that doesn’t mean you get to be the worst ever.

It felt similar to Commonwealth for me. ‘This is the American experience so it is what it is.’  Some parts of this are real life and out of a person’s control. In other ways, they’re just unpleasant humans. Which then continues with their kids.

Lydia’s older brother got the short end of the stick for sure. And their parents shouldn’t have put him in that position. But there’s only so much you can blame on the parents. At some point, if you want to move on and heal, you’re going to have to work through it or let it go, or something.

Wow. You’re probably like, Allison is going through something. I promise I’m fine, I just really hate stories that are built entirely on one point that sucks.

But, maybe I’m wrong. I’ve never been wrong before but there’s a first time for everything. So read it and if this is that time and let me know below!

 

Also here’s my new fav pic because if you’ve made it this far in the post you deserve it. Screen Shot 2017-08-16 at 2.46.05 PM

 

2 Comments

  1. Great article. Good to understand for everyone.

  2. I’m so pleased to have found a brand-new author. This was the very first book I’ve checked out from this author, but it will not be the last. It was a stunning book without any antagonists that kept me enthralled. I likewise recommend to check out http://bit.ly/2LfdHL5 . Thank you so much PS: I appreciate your work.

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