I think after this book, I realized I need to take a book from best-seller lists. While they usually prove to be a good read and are culturally relevant and easy to consume/talk about, I hit a wall with this one. (Same with Young Adult novels, but Ill get to that in a few weeks.)
This story follows the Chinese-American family ater the death of their middle (and favorite) daughter in the 80's. It weaves in and out of perspective of each family member; the dad, a full Chinese but American raised college history professor, the mom, a full all-American white housewife with a semi-life-crises going back and forth between childhood ambition and the love for her family, the older brother, about to leave to college and a bit angsty about being overlooked and ignored for much of his life, and the youngest sister, who really was overlooked, often times left without a place setting at the dinner table.
While it opened pretty strong and pulled me in, it felt like it dragged on and didn’t get to a big punch and lacked build up. I think that was probably the purpose of the plot, but it took me too long to discover that and by the time I arrived there, I was irritated at how invested I was in the characters.
It wasn’t completely lost on me, I really liked the different perspectives of the same event through family and their secrets, but that definitely has felt like a trend in contemporary fiction lately; The Vacationers, Girl On The Train, Beautiful Ruins, so on. While it was done well and was a quick read, it didn’t keep me rushing home to finish it- something I am constantly on the hunt for. Its sad too! Because I think I would have probably enjoyed the book much more if I had read it at a different time. It honestly felt like an 80's crossing the show The Killing and the family and narrative aspect of The Vacationers. -if that paints a picture for you and you're into it, totally go for it!