Margin Notes: Everything I Never Told You
by Celeste Ng
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This story is an in-depth look at a bi-racial (Caucasion/Chinese) family in the 1970s in Ohio. The writing is accomplished and lush. The characters are rich (mostly unlikable). I liked reading this book.
It is and isn't a mystery--the story's plot revolves around figuring out why Lydia Lee died--was she murdered? Did she commit suicide? The heart of the book, however, looks at a struggling family and how they lived their lives. It takes each family member's viewpoint and helps you see what's happening through their eyes. That structure leads to very rich character development that really drives the emotional arc of the story forward. I didn't particularly love any of the characters (the family's son and younger daughter got most of my sympathy), but all were vivid, well-developed, and you understood their points of view, how they felt, what they thought, what they looked like, their back story, their motivations. It was a beautiful capture o these characters at a certain point in time.
View all my reviews
Also: a format agnostic reader tells us why