Everything I Never Told You is a book that by all accounts, I shouldn’t have liked. I don’t typically like the full family history, the set in the past, or the racial tension type books. But whoa. This book was beautifully sad. I felt so bad for all of the characters. They were all so unhappy with their lives. The parents had so many issues and a lot of them were due to their own choices.
Marilyn and James tried so hard to have happy, successful lives, but something always got in the way of their happiness. They both had challenging childhoods that were very influential on who they became as adults.
The children had hard lives, always trying to get praise or a smile from their parents. Nath was largely neglected by his father, the only one he wanted approval from. Lydia couldn’t be what her mom wanted her to be, and she felt misunderstood by her father. And little Hannah, poor Hannah – always underestimated for her level of comprehension of situations (much like many youngest children).
When Lydia goes missing, her family must try to stick together to figure out what happened to her. Then, Lydia is found dead in the lake. Her family is shocked – this is the catalyst for their falling apart. Everything I Never Told You follows their stories, before the children were born, after they were born, and after Lydia’s death. It spans a wide timeline, but it is beautifully woven and was really a sad, profound book.
I listened to this book on Audible. The narrator was engaging and easy to listen to, with her soft voice saying all of the sad things in the book.