“People decide what you’re like before they even get to know you” ― Celeste Ng, Everything I Never Told You

The secrecy of this book had me as hooked as the bakery smell! This book is so deep, dark, and romantic. How can a family have so many secrets? Why do sons and daughters fear so much their parents about the truth? These characters are more concerned about what their parents will do to them if they tell the truth. It is sad to see how their parents scare them more than actually trying to grow in them a sense of security. How they work harder for the approval of their parents but it is never enough.

Celeste did something I have never seen. She focuses on how the death of the daughter affected the parents and the siblings… this is not a detective thriller story. The kid is already dead and resting in peace, and the ones suffering are the ones who were left on the earth. Just like Emily Bronte’s poem “Song”.

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“My lady”, Lydia, she no longer suffers, she no longer has that weight on her shoulders or the pain on her soul. The ones who suffer deeply are the ones she left behind, her parents, and her brother and sister. We should focus on their grief and see how they will cope with this horrible situation.

Moving on, every single physiologist will adjudicate all your issues to your parents, and that is seen clearly in this book. It is incredible how the traumas of their childhood and the bad relationships with their parents are portrayed in their own sons and daughters. Dysfunctional families. How we deposit our wishes on our children. How we force them to do things we couldn’t. How they expected them to be something they are not. We promised to be different from our parents but did the same or even worse.

You might not force them to look for a husband but you might force them to do what they never wanted to do. Isn’t it the same? They, sometimes, do not love their sons or daughters, they fall in love with a fake image of what they could be or better said, they, the parents, could have been if they had the chance.

One of the reasons why I like this book so much is how the author portrays the mechanics of the family. How everybody has their own story secrets. The story is not only seen from 1 (one in word as before you’re not using numbers) perspective and the rest are not only affected superficially. The author shows us how everything affects the family member in personal ways because of all the things they know but don’t share. And again, I have to quote Bronte:

They thought the tide of grief would flow

Unchecked through future years;

But where is all their anguish now,

And where are all their tears?

Pain will be there, it will hurt bad and one might almost die, but I think Bronte is right, we move on just like the characters of the book are doing, they know they will be hurting for some time, but in the future, they will remember with longing and love, but will no longer hurt.

(Poem took from http://etc.usf.edu/lit2go/75/poems-of-emily-bronte/5174/song/)

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  1. Holly B / Dressedtoread Avatar
    Holly B / Dressedtoread

    Beautiful review! I will give this one a go!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Satou Johns Avatar

      Oh ❤ thank you!!! :3 it means a lot that you like it!! You should totally do that! Once you review it, I will be there to talk about it :3

      Liked by 1 person

  2. 6 books about family sagas to read for Thanksgiving! – INKISH KINGDOMS Avatar

    […] This is a personal favorite, and this is what made me fall in love with contemporary lit!Lydia is dead, but they don’t know this yet… This novel narrates the story of a Chinese American family in Ohio back in the 1970s. Lydia is the beautiful middle daughter, favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee; the one that will achieve all the dreams of the family. Being liked, popular, intelligent; in other words, all her parents wanted her to be! (Full Review Here) […]


  3. 7 book to read during the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month | Inkish Kingdoms – INKISH KINGDOMS Avatar

    […] Everything I never Told You is a slow but powerful story of grief, rejection, motherhood, family values and expectations. I read this a few years back and it is worth go over it again. (Check this review here) […]

    Liked by 1 person

  4. jordyn Avatar

    This sounds like it would be hard to read, but be one of those books you’re glad you read. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Caesar H. Avatar

      Thank you so much!! You know that is what I like about the author. The topics are really interesting and heavy but her execution is so flawless. You end up as 😱😱😱😱

      Liked by 1 person

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