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The Resource Everything I never told you, Celeste Ng

Everything I never told you, Celeste Ng

Label
Everything I never told you
Title
Everything I never told you
Statement of responsibility
Celeste Ng
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
"Lydia is dead. But they don't know this yet. So begins the story of this exquisite debut novel, about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee; their middle daughter, a girl who inherited her mother's bright blue eyes and her father's jet-black hair. Her parents are determined that Lydia will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue-in Marilyn's case that her daughter become a doctor rather than a homemaker, in James's case that Lydia be popular at school, a girl with a busy social life and the center of every party. When Lydia's body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together tumbles into chaos, forcing them to confront the long-kept secrets that have been slowly pulling them apart. James, consumed by guilt, sets out on a reckless path that may destroy his marriage. Marilyn, devastated and vengeful, is determined to find a responsible party, no matter what the cost. Lydia's older brother, Nathan, is certain that the neighborhood bad boy Jack is somehow involved. But it's the youngest of the family-Hannah-who observes far more than anyone realizes and who may be the only one who knows the truth about what happened. A profoundly moving story of family, history, and the meaning of home, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, exploring the divisions between cultures and the rifts within a family, and uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another"--
Member of
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Character
Award
  • Alex Award, 2015
  • Asian Pacific American Award for Literature: Adult Fiction, 2015.
  • Booklist Editors' Choice, 2014.
  • Massachusetts Book Awards, Fiction Award, 2015.
  • New York Times Notable Book, 2014
  • School Library Journal Best Books: Best Adult Books 4 Teens, 2014
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ A teenage girl goes missing and is later found to have drowned in a nearby lake, and suddenly a once tight-knit family unravels in unexpected ways. As the daughter of a college professor and his stay-at-home wife in a small Ohio town in the 1970s, Lydia Lee is already unwittingly part of the greater societal changes going on all around her. But Lydia suffers from pressure that has nothing to do with tuning out and turning on. Her father is an American born of first-generation Chinese immigrants, and his ethnicity, and hers, make them conspicuous in any setting. Her mother is white, and their interracial marriage raises eyebrows and some intrusive charges of miscegenation. More troubling, however, is her mother’s frustration at having given up medical school for motherhood, and how she blindly and selfishly insists that Lydia follow her road not taken. The cracks in Lydia’s perfect-daughter foundation grow slowly but erupt suddenly and tragically, and her death threatens to destroy her parents and deeply scar her siblings. Tantalizingly thrilling, Ng’s emotionally complex debut novel captures the tension between cultures and generations with the deft touch of a seasoned writer. Ng will be one to watch. -- Haggas, Carol (Reviewed 05-15-2014) (Booklist, vol 110, number 18, p13)
  • /* Starred Review */ This emotionally involving debut novel explores themes of belonging using the story of the death of a teenage girl, Lydia, from a mixed-race family in 1970s Ohio. Lydia is the middle and favorite child of Marilyn Walker, a white Virginian, and James Lee, a first-generation Chinese-American. Marilyn and James meet in 1957, when she is a premed at Radcliffe and he, a graduate student, is teaching one of her classes. The two fall in love and marry, over the objections of Marilyn’s mother, whose comment on their interracial relationship is succinct: “It’s not right.” Marilyn gets pregnant and gives up her dream of becoming a doctor, devoting her life instead to raising Lydia and the couple’s other two children, Nathan and Hannah. Then Marilyn abruptly moves out of their suburban Ohio home to go back to school, only to return before long. When Lydia is discovered dead in a nearby lake, the family begins to fall apart. As the police try to decipher the mystery of Lydia’s death, her family realize that they didn’t know her at all. Lydia is remarkably imagined, her unhappy teenage life crafted without an ounce of cliché. Ng’s prose is precise and sensitive, her characters richly drawn. Agent: Julie Barer, Barer Literary. (July) --Staff (Reviewed April 14, 2014) (Publishers Weekly, vol 261, issue 15, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ Ng's debut is one of those aching stories about which the reader knows so much more than any of the characters, even as each yearns for the unknowable truth. "Lydia is dead," the novel opens—blunt, unnerving, devastating. She's only 16, the middle of three children of James and Marilyn Lee, a mixed-race couple married years before the ironically named Loving v. Virginia finally invalidated U.S. antimiscegenation laws in 1967. They're initially drawn together by their differences: James, the American-born son of Chinese immigrants, finishing his Harvard PhD; Marilyn, the only Radcliffe undergraduate determined to become a doctor, a gifted scientist among unbelieving men. When they bury their daughter in 1977, the Lee family—already fragile before the tragedy—implodes. James detaches, Marilyn seeks refuge, brother Nath blames, and youngest Hannah silently watches all. Each will search for a Lydia who doesn't exist, desperate to parse what happened. VERDICT Ng constructs a mesmerizing narrative that shrinks enormous issues of race, prejudice, identity, and gender into the miniaturist dynamics of a single family. A breathtaking triumph, reminiscent of prophetic debuts by Ha Jin, Chang-rae Lee, and Chimamanda Adichie, whose first titles matured into spectacular, continuing literary legacies. [See Prepub Alert, 12/16/13.]— Terry Hong, Smithsonian BookDragon, Washington, DC --Terry Hong (Reviewed May 1, 2014) (Library Journal, vol 139, issue 8, p69)
  • Ng's nuanced debut novel begins with the death of a teenage girl and then uses the mysterious circumstances of her drowning as a springboard to dive into the troubled waters beneath the calm surface of her Chinese-American family.When 16-year-old Lydia Lee fails to show up at breakfast one spring morning in 1977, and her body is later dragged from the lake in the Ohio college town where she and her biracial family don't quite fit in, her parents—blonde homemaker Marilyn and Chinese-American history professor James—older brother and younger sister get swept into the churning emotional conflicts and currents they've long sought to evade. What, or who, compelled Lydia—a promising student who could often be heard chatting happily on the phone; was doted on by her parents; and enjoyed an especially close relationship with her Harvard-bound brother, Nath—to slip away from home and venture out in a rowboat late at night when she had always been deathly afraid of water, refusing to learn to swim? The surprising answers lie deep beneath the surface, and Ng, whose stories have won awards including the Pushcart Prize, keeps an admirable grip on the narrative's many strands as she expertly explores and exposes the Lee family's secrets: the dreams that have given way to disappointment; the unspoken insecurities, betrayals and yearnings; the myriad ways the Lees have failed to understand one another and, perhaps, themselves. These long-hidden, quietly explosive truths, weighted by issues of race and gender, slowly bubble to the surface of Ng's sensitive, absorbing novel and reverberate long after its final page.Ng's emotionally complex debut novel sucks you in like a strong current and holds you fast until its final secrets surface.(Kirkus Reviews, June 1, 2014)
Assigning source
Provided by publisher
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10314102
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Ng, Celeste
Dewey number
813/.6
Index
no index present
LC call number
PS3614.G83
LC item number
E94 2014
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Daughters
  • Drowning
  • Grief
Target audience
adult
Label
Everything I never told you, Celeste Ng
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
23 cm
Extent
297 pages
Isbn
9781594205712
Isbn Type
(hardback)
Lccn
2013039961
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Note
Imprint varies.
System control number
  • 862149050
  • (OCoLC)862149050
Label
Everything I never told you, Celeste Ng
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
23 cm
Extent
297 pages
Isbn
9781594205712
Isbn Type
(hardback)
Lccn
2013039961
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Note
Imprint varies.
System control number
  • 862149050
  • (OCoLC)862149050

Library Locations

    • James City County LibraryBorrow it
      7770 Croaker Road, Williamsburg, VA, 23188, US
      37.377573 -76.770995
    • Williamsburg LibraryBorrow it
      515 Scotland Street, Williamsburg, VA, 23185, US
      37.377573 -76.770995
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