Everything I Never Told You: Celeste Ng


A beautiful immigrant story. Everything I Never Told You is the family story of James, who is of Chinese descent, and Marylyn, a blue-eyed American, living a quiet life in a University town in Ohio. Lydia, their much-loved daughter drowns in a lake and thus begins an analysis of what went wrong. Ng does a great job in getting into the minds of the two parents. James, who has always been ‘different’ and wants his daughter to blend in and be popular. Marylyn, who had to give up a career to bring up her kids, wants her to excel in academics. Lydia tries hard to please both but can’t eventually cope up. Ng also does a great job of building relationship between the siblings – Lydia and Nath. There are a couple of twists that are hard to believe. Marylyn’s going away from family without telling anyone to pursue college (why couldn’t she talk it over with her family?) and Jack’s turning out to be gay. The last quarter is a bit of a letdown. Despite the flaws, fast-paced and very readable. Ng’s understanding of the psyche of the key characters viz. James, Marylyn, Lydia, Nath and Hannah is superb and takes the book to another level altogether.

Recommendation: Must Read.