Everything I Never Told You
By Celeste Ng
Grade Levels: 10-12 or Adults
Everything I Never Told You was the first work published by acclaimed author Celeste Ng. You may recognize her from her better-known novel, Little Fires Everywhere. However, Ng’s first published work was no flop - it was Amazon’s #1 book of 2014, the winner of several prestigious awards in 2014 and 2015, including the Massachusetts Book Award of 2015, and has been translated into more than 20 languages for readers around the world to enjoy. The New York Times hailed it as “a deep, heartfelt portrait of a family struggling with its place in history, and a young woman hoping to be the fulfillment of that struggle.”
The story begins with the death of Lydia Lee, the middle and beloved daughter of Marylin and James Lee. Her death sends a shock through the family and exposes divides that years of domestic living have papered over. Each member of her family is impacted differently by her death and the story explores the ways in which it forces them to re-evaluate themselves and their choices. The story is one of family and the secrets we keep from our family members and ourselves. It lays bare how issues of culture and identity can divide or unite us and the everyday struggle of relating to a spouse, a child, or a sibling. Profound, painful, and essentially true, it’s a book that will keep you emotionally invested until the very end.