Author: Celeste Ng

I was aware that this book represented a lot of success for her author Celest Ng, becoming a best seller, so I was really excited to read this one, but unfortunately, I didn’t understand what the hype was about around this book.

The story is centered around the Lee family, which to an outsider might look like the perfect family, but once her daughter Lydia dies (not a spoiler, is literally the first sentence of the book!) all their internal fractures start to show and slowly the family collapses showing that they were never a strong family, to begin with.

A mother that regretted being a housewife and not pursuing a career in medicine, and insecure professor (with Chinese ancestry) that never felt that he belonged in an interracial marriage, the book is set in the 1970s when this kind of marriages was extremely uncommon, and three children who are neglected and raised under their parents’ insecurities.

It was a well-written book, the problem for me is that it didn’t evoke any emotions in me, nothing. The characters are unlikeable, all of them, and when a story is narrated in a way that you are meant to relate and feel their experiences but instead nothing comes through then how can it be a good book?

Some reviews and descriptions about this book said that this was a thriller, but that is definitely not the case, is far from it. Is not even a dark story, is a sad story about a dysfunctional family and their relationships.

I cannot recommend this book, however, seeing as it so popular I wouldn’t encourage anyone to remove it from the TBR if it’s already there. Maybe I missed something and you can help me understand what it is?