This is one of those books that settles deeply inside you and makes you think and question everything. A perfect contemporary drama as many others have called it.
The story is about a Chinese American family
In 1970s, who struggles to fit in and find their place in the society. Everything, including the secrets that they have been keeping with each other starts to unravel when Lydia, their favourite daughter is found dead in the lake.
What struck me most about the book was how it’s characters are doomed to make mistakes over and over.
Yes I am talking about Marilyn here(the mother). How she had promised herself to not ever be like her mother and yet ended up exactly the same. Forcing her dreams and hopes on her daughter’s shoulder, hoping she would become what Marilyn could never be.
She sacrifices her dreams for her family ,yet she fails them. She fails to recognize any of her children , what they want or what they need.
It astonished me that how a person could sacrifice everything they love for the well being of others and yet somehow can not do right by them.
James(the father) is the same.
To be honest I had expected a lot more from the book when I started it and I was a bit disappointed with the way it ended. I guess I had gone with the hype and was expecting more of a mystery element in the book.
But it was more on the realistic side, because sometimes tragic events are just that. A tragedy is more of a tragedy when the circumstances around it could have been simply avoided and there is nothing as mysterious about them as you would have anticipated.
Having said all that, I would still recommend this book to anyone who is looking forward to reading something different with subtle mystery, a complex story and lot of complex characters.