Lydia is the favourite child of Marilyn and James Lee - a girl who inherited her mother's bright-blue eyes and her father's jet-black hair.
When Lydia's body is found in the local lake, James is consumed by guilt, and Marilyn, devastated and vengeful, is determined to hold someone accountable.
But it's the youngest in the family, Hannah, who may be the only one who knows what really happened.
©2014 Celeste Ng (P)2014 Blackstone Audiobooks
"[A] moving tale...of daughters for whom cultural disconnect is but the first challenge." (Vogue)
"The mysterious circumstances of 16-year-old Lydia Lee's tragic death have her loved ones wondering how, exactly, she spent her free time. This ghostly debut novel calls to mind The Lovely Bones." (Marie Claire)
As I found the characters at the centre of this story very frustrating, I probably would not recommend it.
The most interesting aspect of the story was the central line of inquiry: Lydia's life, activities, feelings. Was this murder, or suicide? This part of the story took a long time to unravel. While it was very satisfying to finally know what was going on with Lydia, the time it took to get to her was frustrating.
The least interesting aspect of the story wasn't so much "uninteresting" as "cliched" -- James Lee's choices after his daughter's death probably provided the least merit in the story.
Communicate with my family! While listening to this story I often felt extreme anger and frustration at each remaining family member -- Marilyn's selfishness and inability to accept her children for who they were; James's inability to learn to communicate with his son; Nathan's refusal to speak to police about his suspicions or to speak up within his family; the parents' constant and literal ignorance of the two children who weren't Lydia. This family's story was a definite "what not to do" for family life.
The ending was much neater than I had anticipated partway through -- it didn't seem detrimental to the story overall though, and provided some hope for the family's future.
I really enjoyed the story line! The author describes the struggle each character very well! As the story unfolds, you feel their pain and torment!
"loved this book. Didn't sleep til it was finished"
loved this book. Didn't sleep til it was finished. I characters are so well illustrated and the story has real depth.
A moving, intelligent novel with depth and compassion. I'll miss the characters. It's the type of book that makes you think about your own relationship with your children and ask yourself if you're unconsciously trying to make them fit into a particular mould.
"Beautiful, wise, engrossing"
The blurb on the front, from Marie Claire magazine: "this book calls to mind 'The Lovely Bones'. An unwarranted insult in my opinion; this book is a darn sight better than that one!
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