Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

I’ve read quite a few books recently but none that I have wanted to put on here. Finally I’ve found one. ‘Everything I never told you’ is Celeste Ng’s debut novel. It took her 6 years to write. It took me just 3 days to read. It’s a beautifully written page turner. “Lydia is dead. But they don’t know it yet.” Those are the opening words in this story of a Chinese-American family whose teenage daughter is found dead in a lake by their house. The narrative bounces back and forth seamlessly over time as the parents try to understand and come to terms with the death of their favourite child. It’s a beautiful portrait of a mixed race family in 1970s small town Ohio – about their secrets and lies, their unspoken struggles with racism, their unfulfilled dreams. When Lydia’s body is found in the lake, their fragile family bond collapses. All the resentment and frustrations they’ve dwelt on but kept hidden for years suddenly bubble to the surface as they try to understand how the teenager died. It’s a really satisfying, poignant book that will make you think about the sort of pressures you unconsciously heap on your own children. Loved it.

8 thoughts on “Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

  1. Thank you Sophie. Just what I needed for my recent short holiday. From your book stalker Celina ?

    1. I make you a website…and you still call me for recommendations!! Love it. A truly personalised service. Glad you enjoyed it x

  2. Thanks for this, it screams of “lovely bones” (which I loved reading) from your description and so I’ll definitely pick this one up. Also as an aspiring writer it’s nice to know that other authors have equally struggled with writing and finishing their stories!

  3. Great recommendation – beautifully written, believable, thought provoking but still an easy holiday read

  4. I’m currently half way through this novel and it’s sort of ok. I would definitely recommend Celeste’s second book, Little Fires Everywhere.

  5. What an exquisitely written book this is. Just beautiful and very moving. Really makes one think about life and how what we say and do affects those dear to us.

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