Lydia is dead. But they don't know this yet.
Lydia is the favourite child of Marilyn and James Lee; a girl who inherited her mother's bright blue eyes and her father's jet-black hair. Her parents are determined that Lydia will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue - in Marilyn's case that her daughter become a doctor rather than a homemaker, in James's case that Lydia be popular at school, a girl with a busy social life and the centre of every party. But Lydia is under pressures that have nothing to do with growing up in 1970s small town Ohio. Her father is an American born of first-generation Chinese immigrants, and his ethnicity, and hers, make them conspicuous in any setting.
When Lydia's body is found in the local lake, James is consumed by guilt and sets out on a reckless path that may destroy his marriage. Marilyn, devastated and vengeful, is determined to make someone accountable, no matter what the cost. Lydia's older brother, Nathan, is convinced that local bad boy Jack is somehow involved. But it's the youngest in the family - Hannah - who observes far more than anyone realises and who may be the only one who knows what really happened.
I'm really on the fence with this one; it's really well thought out and really thought provoking but I think I preferred Little Fires Everywhere (LFE).
I thought there would be more mystery/thriller to this after reading the back, where in fact it is a sad story of a family that fall apart due to a tragedy. It's beautifully written and very real and I thought the characters were portrayed super well, but I felt there was more resolution with LFE, whereas the final chapters of this book were a little disappointing. I think if I was read this again I would like it more as I now know that it is in fact a powerful story about family, rather than a thriller.
It's really well written though and an easy read, like LFE, so if that's what you're looking for then I would definitely give it a go.
IN 3 WORDS/PHRASES:
'She recognised it at once: love, one-way deep adoration that bounced off and did not bounce back; careful, quiet love that didn't care and went on anyway.'
Hannah, my heart really went out to her throughout the whole book and I found her character to be the most interesting.