After hearing many rave reviews for Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere, I thought I’d hop on the bandwagon and get to reading her stuff. Unfortunately, LFE has a giant waitlist at my library, but her book “Everything I Never Told You” was patiently waiting for someone to check it out.

I checked it out via OverDrive and dug out my Kindle from where its been hiding since we got back from Hawaii.

“She understands. There is nowhere to go but on. Still, part of her longs to go back”

Celeste Ng, Everything I Never Told You

This fiction work is set in Ohio in the 1970s, although I must have missed that right off the bat because I wondered where these kids’ cell phones at first (sometimes I get so excited about reading I miss things).

Once I overcame that self-inflicted hurdle, I realized this book would feel uncomfortable and that was okay. It tells the story of the Lees, an interracial family of five, in Ohio; how their story started (the love story of mom and dad) and how they interact after the death of one of the children.

What I liked most about this book is that the reader got to know each character through his or her history. Yes, it was a bit tedious to keep up with the details, but it made the ending that much more meaningful.

It’s a page-turner, and I admire Ng’s ability to capture the idea that families will always be on a journey of figuring each other out despite the familiarity and comforts of home. In hindsight, it was a perfect book for January.

Book Club Questions

  1. How did the “Marco Polo” scene featuring Nath and Jack make you feel?
  2. Who do you think the title of the book is being spoken by? And to whom?
  3. Marilyn realizes that her mother is only remembered for being the one who cooked. What do you hope you are remembered for?

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