As Ng deftly paints a powerful yet tender portrait of a family torn apart, she simultaneously delves into the way culture and race change relationships as well. But the best part is that Ng subtly weaves all of this into the story, while avoiding clichés or a too-heavy tone. For an intriguing but very accessible glimpse into human psychology, this one’s got our seal of approval.
Ng (pronounced “ing”) is a gifted storyteller but an even more gifted character-builder. [...] Everything I Never Told You is a book that has a lot to say. It explores the challenges of an interracial family in 1970’s America. It’s also about the pressure and problems of being both the middle child and the favorite child. It’s about what it means to be a girl and a woman, and how it feels to be different. Ng doesn’t have any easy solutions or platitudes about grief and redemption. She gives us characters who are fully developed, whose grief is palpable and believable.
Ng’s deftness with detail draws the reader close into the family’s struggle to understand. ... [H]er pinpoint precision on the feelings and actions after loss make for a very strong and emotional debut that will linger in the mind.