Summary and Review on "Everything I Never Told You"

Categories: Social Problems

The book by Celeste Ng, "Everything I Never Told You," is both a story of a family's endeavor to adapt to misfortune and a puzzle. The issue of both identity and race is significant to deeply understand the contentions inside this novel. Ng expressively talks about the insights of each and every individual from the Lee family. Ng's deftness with detail attracts the reader closer to the family's battle to the point where it feels like the reader understands the circumstances.

While at the same time Ng is a smooth and attentive author, the numerous movements from the past to present can disturb the congruity now and then.

Other than that, her pinpoint on the activities after misfortune makes for an extremely solid and truly passionate introduction that will make one deeply wonder about. In this novel, desire and dissatisfaction meet up as a couple. James anticipated that he would turn into a teacher in harvard, and Marilyn anticipated that she would turn into a doctor; yet not one of them achieved their desire and was disillusioned at what life brings to the table.

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They were not whole disappointments considering the way that they carry on with a customary working-class life, yet their powerlessness to acknowledge their failure caused lethal results.

Numerous characters in this novel are worried about keeping up appearances so as to mask how they truly feel inside. It isn't long after Lydia's passing that everybody acknowledges there are enormous contrasts between how things truly are and how things seem, by all means, to be.

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Lydia's deceptive nature isn't the main motivation behind why nobody became more acquainted with the genuine her. To a vast degree, every one of Lydia's relatives likewise needs to have confidence in their own particular feelings, by imagining that what they see is genuine. The need to keep up appearances and the absence of trustworthiness carried significant catastrophes into the family relations of all characters inside this novel. Each significant character in this book is barred from their general surroundings and experiences depression.

The narrator sets out the Lee family as a family without any companions. James is convinced that he was not enlisted as a teacher at Harvard since he was not suitable for either of the social or racial profiles that were expected of educators at Harvard. Marilyn believes he was not given the opportunity to have a career in the medical field because of the gendered strain for women to be housewives. Social prohibition was unfortunately passed down to their children. The book implies that the Lee family figures out how to acknowledge each other and bond more after the passing of Lydia. This is definitely affected by the way that Lydia herself was simply nonexistent to them until the end of time.

Works cited

  1. Ng, C. (2014). Everything I never told you. New York: Penguin Press.
  2. Berlant, L. (1997). The queen of America goes to Washington City: Essays on sex and citizenship. Duke University Press.
  3. Gee, J. P. (2014). An introduction to discourse analysis: Theory and method. Routledge.
  4. Hooks, B. (2014). Writing beyond race: Living theory and practice. Routledge.
  5. Kondo, D. (2015). About face: Performing race in fashion and theater. Routledge.
  6. Lorde, A. (2018). Sister outsider: Essays and speeches. Crossing Press.
  7. Morrison, T. (1993). Playing in the dark: Whiteness and the literary imagination. Harvard University Press.
  8. Park, R. E. (2017). Race and culture. Routledge.
  9. Said, E. W. (1979). Orientalism. Vintage Books.
  10. Williams, R. (2016). Keywords: A vocabulary of culture and society. Oxford University Press.
Updated: Feb 02, 2024
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Summary and Review on "Everything I Never Told You". (2024, Feb 07). Retrieved from

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