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Everything I Never Told You

by Celeste Ng

Were you expected to live a vicarious life? This is Lydia's fate; she must be a popular all-American girl destined for medical school to satisfy her parents. Her disappearance triggers a retelling of their mixed Chinese American family story. The longings and feelings her parents brother and sister kept to themselves over years, burst out at last. A sad, haunting story it's also a mystery that kept me guessing to the end.

Extract

He had read the letter from Harvard eleven times now and had finally convinced himself it was real: they had actually accepted him. In nine months he would be gone, and that knowledge took the sting out of all that had happened. So what if his parents cared more about Lydia's failure than his success? He was leaving. And when he got to college - Lydia would have to stay behind. The thought, finally put into words was bittersweet. As his father passed him a present wrapped in red foil, Nath flashed Lydia a tentative smile, which she pretended not to see. After three comfortless days she was not ready to forgive him yet,but the gesture warmed her, like a gulp of tea on a cold day.

Parallels

Forgotten Country by Catherine Chung
 

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