October 13, 2015
MarkBernstein.org
 
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Everything I Never Told You

by Celeste Ng

“Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.” That’s the beginning of this fascinating new novel, a mysterious story that is not a mystery.

How well do we really know anyone? After her body is found in the nearby suburban lake, Lydia’s mother takes refuge in the bedroom of her 11th-grade daughter. She sees the row of diaries on the bottom bookshelf, the diaries that have been her annual Christmas present, ever since Lydia was five years old. She does the unthinkable and pries open the lock of Lydia’s last diary.

It is blank. They all are blank. Lydia’s diaries have been a family ritual for more than a decade, and she has never written a single word.

This is a tragedy, a delicate construction of small lies and casual misunderstandings that cause spreading disaster, a disaster that seemingly could be averted at any moment but that no one can stop.