Lydia, the Lee family's middle and favorite daughter, has disappeared throwing her whole family into turmoil. The disappearance forces hidden information about Lydia into the open. She wasn't the popular, well-liked girl that her father, James, had hoped she would be, but a quiet loner with only one unpopular friend. She wasn't the star student that her mother, Margaret, thought she was, but a girl who was quietly failing several classes and ambivalent about her mother's goal for her to become a doctor. She had secret habits that her brother, Nathan, didn't know about and she snuck out of the house on occasion, which only her sister, Hannah, saw. Who was the real Lydia Lee and what happened to her?
Why It's Worth Reading:
The story of the Lee family has so many layers. I saw so many students in the characters as they drove themselves toward academic and social success. I was fascinated by social justice aspects addressed by James feeling marginalized by his racial and cultural background and by the Lee's feeling isolated as the only mixed-race family in their community. The family dynamics felt so true - in their assumptions, in the things left unsaid, in the strange way that love is manifested. The writing style was so purposeful and had such incredible pacing. I felt frantic when the Lee's felt frantic and exhausted and wrought alongside their worries. I don't feel that I directly resemble many of the characters in this book, yet I feel that I can relate to all of them. If that's not a great piece of fiction, I don't know what is.
Publisher: Penguin Press
Publication Date: June 16, 2014
Source: NHS Library
Awards: Alex Award 2015
Do We Own a Copy?: 2 copies!