Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Everything I Never Told You Bares All: A Book Review

I gave Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng four stars because it was really good. In fact, it was so good, it hurt. I don't know if I could read it again, though. I felt a lonely ache each time I read it, but I would encourage anyone to read this at least once. I didn't want to give it four stars. I wanted to give it less, because while I would devour the book in lengthy segments of time, it hurt to read it, so it took longer than usual to read. This is a testament to Ng's talent.

I loved the omniscient narrator who gave readers insight into each of the characters innermost thoughts without influencing in anyway. It hurt to read because all the characters were so silently raw and unwilling to speak when needed. There were several times that I wanted to shake any one of the characters, "Say something! Say what you mean!", but I had to remind myself they were not real. Ng made them real. She made the hurt real and while reading, I became almost like the youngest character, Hannah, joining the narrator in "watching" the family.

I would recommend the book for several reasons. For writers, this is a wonderful book for reading an exceptional omniscient narrator as well as how to build flesh and blood characters who will annoy, love, anger, feel sympathy for. As just a reader, it gives a wonderful sense of otherness. If anyone has never felt different or like an other, the novel does an amazing job of showing how a family of others still feel so alone.

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