After months of deliberating, tapping my finger against the desk, fiddling with knobs, buttons and toggles on my website wondering “Should I?” “Shouldn’t I?” and then waiting for several more weeks I decided to take the plunge! So here I am with my very first blogpost on my website!

Now you’re probably wondering what triggered the jump to self-blog. Well… it’s this wonderful book I couldn’t put down and just had to share with you – EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU by Celeste Ng. And I promise… I never told you everything except that the book is being adapted for film and is so beautifully written!

The story revolves around a Chinese-American family in the 1970s – when telephones had cords, the internet didn’t exist and books were the prime source of knowledge. The tragedy that unfolds when teenage Lydia’s body is found in the lake is the unravelling of a mystery and people’s delicate lives. Alienation. Race. Family. Inequality…these are just some of the many topics explored. As the police and FBI try to solve the mystery, the Lee family faces its own hidden secrets. Marilyn, the mom. James, the father. Hannah, the youngest of three. Nathan, the older brother. They all cling to hidden desires, dreams, a wish to escape and struggles to fit in… or not.

Having grown up in Hong Kong where the cultural mix was and still is a beautiful mosaic of everyone jostling for space in an overcrowded city I do remember it was easier for some to fit in over others. Sometimes the rule was determined by the color of your skin, the popular people you hung out with – who had already staked claim on the turf – or the majority from a rainbow of minorities.

In any case, the desperation to fit in persists for some people no matter where they go while others struggle to be different.

What struggle has caused you to take a leap?

12 thoughts on “Everything I Never Told You

  1. Living in an American city that has a substantial Asian presence and in a neighborhood that has similar demographics , it is easy to blend in and participate in cultural and social events that create strong ties and makes one a part of an ever expanding network. I am thankful for this springboard of similar roots sharing similar outlook on life in a distant land that we have willingly adopted as our own. The challenge of being alone is less evident in such a circumstance.

    1. Hi Shukti,
      Thanks for joining me! A diversity of demographics helps us and others to blend in because we all have a niche where we can find a home. Social, cultural events give us reasons to come together and yes… share our outlook on life! It does take away the loneliness in sometimes feeling alone.

  2. Immigrant stories are unique experiences, no two stories are alike in any way. After writing mine – through ‘Not For You’, and upon sharing, I realized how most people know so little about the lives of their friends and neighbors, especially if they are immigrants. It is like a culture shock they do not want to experience. Thanks for your review.

    Best wishes on blogging!
    Nandita

    1. Hi Nandita,
      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. You are so right about the culture shock that hits many people. I guess it works both ways… I’ve learned things about other people which has also taken me time to digest and when I hear their perspective on another culture (branded by stereotypes) that’s more to swallow. I guess there’s more than meets the eye and good luck on your books!!

  3. Anju, now I want to read the book you reviewed. I live 4 months per year in Toronto, Canada, which has no racial majority and is truly a polyglot of the entire human race, who for the most part, seem to get along. Congratulations on your blog, and keep going!

    1. Thank you, Ann!
      I’m so glad you enjoyed the post and I hope you enjoy the book. 🙂 I could not put it down!! It was like opening a beautifully wrapped gift, one satin ribbon at a time as your heart ached for the family and you kept asking ‘why’… ‘WHY?’ My debut novel – the first in a series will be out in fall 2018 sometime, and I can’t wait to share it with all of you! Thanks for your encouragement – it means a lot on this new venture!! In the mean time I hope to keep sharing books that I have loved and hugged (literally) because the power of the pen truly speaks for itself. What do you think?

  4. I think most of us are social beings and have the innate need to belong… to any chosen group(s); family usually being one of the prime ones. So we are usually always trying to fit in. This becomes a very determining factor for societies to exist and evolve.

    1. So well said… no matter where we are and live the need to fit in persists 🙂

  5. A life of displacement being born and growing up in apartheid South Africa brought its own bag of struggles. Trying to fit in as a migrant in Australia invited more, until I dared to be my authentic self, warts and all.

    1. It’s so hard standing up for yourself… wanting to blend but not stand out in the crowd. I wonder what efforts or changes you made when you moved to Australia… could you share examples?

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