Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng narrated by, Cassandra Campbell
Below you will find my random/rambling thoughts as I listened to this book. I liked and disliked this book or should I say I liked the book and completely disliked the characters. The parents in this book are unemotional distance people who should never have had children, they are not abusive in the broad sense of the word but they have no idea who their children are and have no idea how to show that they love them let alone care about them. See my final thoughts at the end.
Everyone grieves differently and it is sad that they are all grieving separately instead of as a family, to be there for each other but I don't think they were there for each other before Lydia's death so I feel like her death multiplied this separateness tenfold.
It just seems like Marilyn could have enrolled in a school right from home instead of sneaking out signing up for classes and getting an apartment. I guess I just don't understand this woman at all.
Do these two people (James & Marilyn) even know each other at all it feels like their whole relationship is superficial it doesn't go deep enough to tell each other what they want from life, what their lives are really like or anything about their true selves and they passed this on to their children so they are just as closed off as the parents are.
James & Marilyn started out fighting the stereotypes then ended up being the stereotypes I am hoping this family becomes something amazing and breaks out of those roles but I am scared this is going to be a depressing book all the way through.
Poor Nath and Hannah to be that ignored by your parents must be heartbreaking.
How could you forget your own child so much that you forget to set a place for them at the table?? Really??
It didn’t seem like James even cared that Nath got into Harvard. Then when Lydia ruined his moment it made me very mad.
The way this family relates to each other is so heartbreaking they are so separate in so many ways.
And even Lydia making up friends pretending to be on the phone talking, all 3 of these children are so lonely and starved for love it’s so sad.
Wow the way James treats Nath is horrible I understand he is grieving but wow.
For this family to get certain news from the authorities is going to tear them apart even further.
But James is so not handling this at all but I also get the feeling that James would have cheated and said the things to his mistress even if Lydia hadn’t died.
I think it was awful that Nath had to be the one to tell Marilyn where James was especially after what James had said to Marilyn. I don’t think she knew, I honestly don’t think she could comprehend him having a mistress when he didn’t have any friends.
I find it a bit I don’t know disconcerting that there is only one other oriental in the whole town and she is who James is having an affair with I don’t know it’s a little too unbelievable. Someone had mentioned to me that I need to remember what year this is but this is the late 70’s and things had changed a lot in the last 18 or so years since they have been together. And that James didn’t have the balls to come out of the bedroom what a louse!
That Hannah and Nath were right there watching as her parents fight over the affair was tough; it just goes to show how little these parents thought about their children. And that James said if we had never met and she had never been born I wanted to yell Hey jackass you have 2 other children too!
She left first, come on James, that was a long time ago. Oh these two are so screwed up! But it goes to show that they never communicated when Marilyn came back they never talked about it and so all these years James is still hurt by Marilyn leaving. They never discussed why she left, maybe if they had a conversation about the reasons Marilyn left all those years ago maybe everything would be different just maybe James would have supported her decision I don’t know maybe not but maybe…
I think that Nath leaving for college was so hard for Lydia because she felt he was the only one she had, but poor Hannah always gets lost in the shuffle. Then when Hannah tries to bond with Lydia it all goes wrong, oh this family makes me so very sad. I feel so bad for Hannah she just wants some love and affection and every time she tries she gets slapped down figuratively and literally.
Oh my gosh when Jack comes clean to Lydia, if anyone can understand feeling like an outsider it’s him she should have stayed his friend they could have been true friends. I think if Lydia would have had it in her to understand Jack things would have been different.
How sad just when Lydia was finally thinking on her own without the grudges and hatred. But was it an accident? She stepped out of the boat into the water it sounds like she meant to do it to me.
I hope this means Hannah will finally get some love and not just be a cardboard cutout of Lydia in her parents eyes.
There is this little bit of a coming together but I don’t think this family ever learned to communicate with each other, too many years have passed and these behaviors are ingrained now. I wonder how Nath & Hannah were with their families in the future.
Ooof this book is like a gut punch but so beautifully written that you need to continue on. I honestly am not sure how to rate this book because there was no redemption, one can only hope that this family got better that they cherished the children they had left and started communicating with each other but I’m afraid I this did not happen.
Cassandra Campbell’s narration is very well done as always.
Thanks you to the FordAudiobookClub for the opportunity to listen to this book.