Summary: Everything I Never Told You

Everything I never told you examines the life of the Lee family. Consisting of two daughters (Lydia and Hannah), a son Nath, Father James, and Mother Marilyn, and they all share troubles between them. The story inevitably revolves around the mystery of Lydia’s death. There are many speculations made throughout the book, but all signs point to Nath’s childhood friend Jack. NG throughout the book likes the readers to continue to guess. This is seen immediatly front he start, when the first line tells the readers that Lydia has died. This set the tone for the rest of the book, having it’s readers continue to guess as to what the true reason for Lydia’s death. Behind the sciences there were affairs (between James and a fellow co-worker). The story shows many layers, many things happening at once. This is a developing occurrence as NG uses flashbacks, and sometimes confuses the readers as to what is the present and what is the past. This can be seen in the opening of chapter 3 when NG jumps to Lydia’s funeral while we are still searching for why she died. NG sometimes liked to work backwards, give the readers the end result, and then slowly trace back to what lead up to that event. Hannah (Lydia’s sister) does seem to take a backseat in the book, while still adding to the plot line, in chapter 5, she one night tries to retrace Lydia’s steps to figure out what lead to Lydia’s disappearance. Chapter 7 we start to see a sense of togetherness from James and Marilyn, as they gather together to figure out how to lead the best life possible without Lydia’s presence. It is well seen that the whole story all in all leads back to Lydia, and the impact she has made by jumping into the Lake. As the story moves through we start to get more answers, we see why Jack was so close to Lydia to all in all get to Nath, later explaining what may have promoted Lydia’s jump into the lake; Jacks love for Nath. As James and Marilyn start to detach as James’s affair seems to become a bigger issue, and as Nath prepares to make a jump to Harvard, Lydia is stuck in the middle of these detachments, and feels that a point must be made. She wants to jump in the lake, and prove a point she can make it back to shore. This does not come to be what she expects, and sadly drowns. Her sad wish a decade previously to have Nath let her drown, has come true. The book continues to battle between what the family believes happened to Lydia, and what Lydia actually says what happens. This constant battle had caused friction among the family, by pushing people away from one another. The battle of racism, expectations, and hardship has brought the Lee family into what can be considered a tragedy. The loss of a sister and daughter, could have all been prevented if “everything was told” and nothing was a secret.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s