Breathe To Read

Breathe To Read

Thursday, February 23, 2017

2017 Challenge - Book #20 - Everything I Never Told You

20 books down in two months - YES!  Thank you crazy winter break kids had.

Today's book is:  Everything I Never Told You

This was under the category:  A Book With A Great First Line

The first line is "Lydia is dead.  But they don't know it yet"
Right off the bat, you are drawn into the world of this family.  This is the story of a Chinese American family living in the 1970s in a small town in Ohio.  Their children are Nathan - the eldest who is a bright, well liked student who has been admitted to Harvard and cannot wait to escape to college.  Lydia - the middle child and the favorite among her parents.  Her mother sees Lydia being the doctor she could never be, and her husband sees her being the popular girl he never was.  Then there is Hannah, who is the 10 year old "surprise" who is all but ignored by her family.  The story jumps all over time starting with when the parents in this story were young and growing up in very different environments.  The wife was a student in college when she met her future husband who was a graduate student.  They fell in love, she got pregnant, they got married, and she never finished college.  She always regretted it - even leaving the marriage at one point to try and finish college and go on to medical school.  But things happen and she returns to her family and her life as a stay at home mom.  When Lydia dies, the family completely falls apart.  They don't know if she was murdered or if she committee suicide, and they try to piece together what happened to the daughter that was the center of their world.

This was a great story.  I likes how it went back and forth through the past starting with when the parents were young through their early marriage and when the children came along.  Every character had their chance to tell their view point - even Lydia.  The author works through the past to the present to show how the family got to this point and how they are going to move forward.  The only thing I didn't like is that the wife did up and leave her FAMILY - no note, no explanation, when Lydia and Nathan were small - to go after her dream of being a doctor.  She felt that she couldn't be a parent and a wife and a student all at once.  It didn't make much sense - didn't really fit the character to be that selfish.  Even though she was going gone 9 weeks before she returned home, it seemed to be leading that she was never going to return to her family.

Check it out.  I think it is worth a read.

Stars: 4 1/2

1 comment:

  1. Ooh, this sounds good! I might have to add this to my list.