The story was about a mixed Chinese American family living in a small town in Ohio. Lydia is the favourite of the Lees family. Her parents believed that she is the one to achieve all the dreams her parents weren’t able to make come true. One day, Lydia’s body was found in the local lake.
James, being a second generation Chinese immigrant, he always wanted to blend in with everyone. He’s tired of being treated differently. Marilyn always wanted to be a doctor and she was tired of being told what she can and cannot do because she’s a woman. She aimed to stand out in the crowd. When these two people—one desperate to blend in with everyone and the other starved to stand out in the crowd—fell in love, what would have become of their lives? What happened when people still look at you differently or when you could no longer pursue the dreams? The web of chaos interlaced with the children.
Marilyn aggressively trained Lydia to become a doctor and James favoured her over Nath. Nath tried and isolated his own achievement from Lydia’s but they had some kind of mutual understanding. Hannah was the youngest yet the most ignored person in the family so she learnt to stay quiet, spending most of her time alone.
Celeste Ng likes to start her books with a big unknown. Page after page, she feeds fragments of information via her characters to reveal it. Through her snippets of information, she urges the reader to think why, too. She proves that there are more than just two sides in a story. Here, I see family members held their tongues and believed what they had perceived. Love reading this book as it is quite thought provoking. I prefer this to her another famous one, Little Fires Everywhere.