Thursday, January 28, 2016

Everything I Never Told You--An opinion


From Goodreads:
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.


For the record-- I don't really  review books.  I don't feel qualified, BUT I do love to talk about them and like to feel part of the book blogging world.

From Me:
When I begin to write what I think about these books I list, I read the good read summary and then I think--well, I can't say it any better than that.  So I won't go into my own summary.
Did I like it?
Yes, I did.  
It was a bit (lot) melancholy, but of course how can a book about death not be, but even when they looked back on their lives, before their daughter's death, which should have been happier times, HOLY COW, it was still melancholy.
Lives so sad-- it made me think of the things we do and say to our children that impacts them in ways we can't even imagine.
Do we have favorite children?
How do we show that without meaning to?
It's a question that is underlying in the book thru-out the story.

The story had a saving grace at the end (family makes a break thru)  ( I don't feel that's a spoiler), it  left me with tears and smiles.
And still that awful nagging in the back of my mind--- do we favor one child more than another?

3.7 stars.

5 comments:

JoAnn said...

I really loved this book (audio production was excellent) and ended up giving it 5 stars... so moving and thought-provoking! Here's the final paragraph of my review:

"Everything I Never Told You should be required reading for anyone with children. As you ask yourself how the Lees got it all so spectacularly wrong, you will be inspired to pay closer attention to your own family. You will be forced to re-examine the hopes and dreams you hold for your children, as well as your underlying motivation."

Kay said...

So glad to hear your reaction to this book. I'm leading a discussion of it with a book group in about 3 weeks and I still need to read it. OK, here's my confession - I've tried to read this book (which has been highly recommended to me) more than once and bogged down. Why? Who knows? Now, through no fault of my own (decided to visit an old book group), I'm going to have to finish it. It's up next on my audiobook queue. I'll keep your final question in mind.

Stefanie said...

I'm glad this was a good read.

Katherine P said...

I've seen cases where parents or grandparents so blatantly favor one child of another that it's just painful. I've tried to never do that but I'm definitely closer to one child over another just because we have more in common so we get along better. It's more just a person thing than a parent/child issue. This sounds like a great read though I'm not sure I can handle the sadness. I tend to avoid books from the parent's perspective if a child dies even if that child is an adult! It does sound like it isn't all sad and it sounds like you really enjoyed. I'll have to look for this one from the library.

Literary Feline said...

I absolutely have a favorite child--but I can say that because I only have the one. :-) Seriously though, there have been times I have said something to my daughter and wish I could take it back. What will stay with her? What won't? I was raised by two alcoholics and my father especially was a very angry and emotionally abusive man. And yet both of my parents loved me very much. This is a book I want to read and will read at some point. I'm glad you liked it.

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