Everything I Never Told You

01 Feb 2015

I really need to stop reading books about families with dead daughters. I have read 8 books so far this year and 3 of them have their main plot centered around young girls dying. I had reasons to pick these all that were independent from reading their descriptions, but I think I might start reading the descriptions before adding more books to my reading list going forward. Not that these were bad, I just need a change of pace, because they are starting to get depressing. The third such book I have just finished is called Everything I Never Told You.

This book was pretty good. Many different themes were explored and were handled really well. These themes include: feeling different like an outsider either due to race or other factors, feelings of obligation and subjugation to what others want you to be at the expense of your own wants and needs, feelings of living an unfulfilled life where your dreams never come true because life gets in the way, how communication or the lack thereof can be so paramount to how relationships evolve, likewise how sometimes things not said can be more important than everything that is said, and of course the lack of control and loss that people feel when they lose a family member.

Personally, this book made me think a lot about not living someone else's life and not letting inertia take you to a place where you look back and feel disappointment and regret. The mother in this book really exemplified the negative impact of overbearing parenting from both her mother's treatment of her as well as her treatment of her daughter. It is always crazy when someone tries so hard to be the opposite of what they despise and they turn out to be the same in different clothing. This is often my opinion about extremist ideologies. Replacing one word for another, for example, the state in place of god, and you trade communism for religious zealotry, and they hate each other fiercely, yet they are really just the same thing. You hate how your mother tried to force you into just marrying a Harvard man and being a good homemaker, so you force your daughter into being a doctor like you wanted but failed to do because you had your daughter instead. The wheels keep turning around the same way even if the tune is different.

I would not recommend reading this book immediately after reading [See How Small] like I did, but in general I would recommend this book. It is mostly depressing, but I feel it has an honesty and realism that shine through to make it hard to put down.

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