This is a beautifully written book about a family suffering a terrible loss. Lydia, the favorite daughter of a mixed race family (Caucasian and Asian) has drowned. Surprisingly, though there are sad moments, the tone is hopeful. Ng explores what happens when people’s lives don’t turn out the way they thought they would; when characters must adjust their dreams to fit the reality of their lives. She also delves into the miscommunication that can occur when family members don’t really listen to each other or talk to each other; the assumptions we make are generally wrong and often hurtful. Ng’s language is lyrical and she employs the rarely used omniscient first person for almost every character of the story. This allows the reader to uncover the truth one person at a time, through narration of the present, memories, thoughts, and actions as each person moves through the tragedy that has befallen them. A heartrending portrait of a family in crisis, Everything I Never Told You is well worth reading and discussing. It will stay with you long after you turn or swipe the final page.
**This review was originally written in 2014