Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
Five words from the blurb: murder, child, parents, mystery, relationships
I decided to read Everything I Never Told You because it was Amazon.com’s book of 2014 and praise for it seems to be everywhere. Unfortunately I didn’t enjoy it as much as everyone else. It was very readable and contained a few interesting insights into the problems of inter-racial marriage, but the murder-mystery aspect was underwhelming and I felt the entire book lacked that magical spark. I’ve heard the same story many times before and, although this was better written than similar books, it didn’t do anything particularly groundbreaking. You should probably ignore this review though – everyone else seems to love it!
The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell
Five words from the blurb: hoarding, family, dysfunctional, relationships, secrets
This was chosen by my book club and the majority of the group enjoyed it. I had my reservations, but it did produce one of the most interesting discussions we’ve had so far. It contained some good observations on hoarding, but then meandered off on too many unrealistic tangents. Members of my group compared it to a soap opera and this think this is a good analogy. If you enjoy the non-stop, but shallow, actions of dysfunctional families then you’ll love this, but I prefer to read more realistic books.
The Iceberg by Marion Coutts
Five words from the blurb: tumor, husband, grief, support, family
The Iceberg contains some of the most powerful descriptions of grief I’ve ever read. Marion Coutts explains what life was like in the 18 months between her husband’s diagnosis of a brain tumor and his untimely death. It showed his gradual decline and the way this affected his friends and family. The writing was outstanding, but it was so vivid I felt I was reliving her pain. I’m afraid I wasn’t strong enough to continue reading and so abandoned this important book before the end.
Have you read any of these books?
Did you enjoy them more than I did?