Everything I Never Told You Summary
Celeste Ng

Everything you need to understand or teach Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng.

  • Everything I Never Told You Summary & Study Guide
  • 30 Everything I Never Told You Lessons
  • 20 Activities
  • 180 Multiple Choice Questions
  • 60 Short Essay Questions
  • 20 Essay Questions
  • Pre-Made Tests and Quizzes
  • ...and more

Everything I Never Told You Overview

The story opens by telling readers that Lydia is dead, but that her family doesn’t know that yet. Eventually Lydia is found at the bottom of the community lake. After her death, her family realizes that they didn’t really know Lydia after all. The Lees are a Chinese American family who live in a small Ohio town. James is a history professor, and Marilyn is a homemaker. They have three children: Nath, Lydia, and Hannah. Marilyn and James met when he was her professor in college. Marilyn was seeking to be different. James was seeking to be like everyone else. Marilyn became pregnant and gave up her dream to be a doctor to marry James. Marilyn’s mother died when Nath and Lydia were small. At that time Marilyn began to question her life. She ended up disappearing and leaving her family while she attempted to finish her college degree and finally become a doctor. She returned when she learned that she was pregnant with Hannah. When Marilyn returned she poured herself into Lydia and helping her to become a doctor. Nath and Hannah were mostly ignored. Nath threw himself into learning everything he could about space. Hannah became a quiet child who was found in corners or under tables. As the years passed, Lydia resented all the pressures her parents put upon her. She struggled with the courses her mother wanted her to take and was failing physics. Toward the end of her life, she struck up a friendship with a neighbor Nath hated and who had a reputation as a womanizer. She and Jack, however, had a chaste relationship, and they spent their time driving in his car and talking. Lydia became more frustrated as Nath made plans to attend Harvard in the fall, and Jack rejected her attempt to make their relationship a romantic one. One night Lydia went to the lake and drowned. After her funeral the family struggled to find reasons for her death. James began having an affair with his teaching assistant, Nath poured himself into getting ready for college, Marilyn spent her time in Lydia’s room, and Hannah quietly struggled to find a reason for her sister’s death. Eventually James and Marilyn make up and renew their love. Hannah’s relationship with her parents improves. Nath tries to initiate a fight with Jack at the lake because he believes Jack is responsible for his sister’s death. Hannah breaks up the fight and accidentally pushes Nath into the water. As Nath feels what Lydia might have felt in her last moments, he sees Hannah and knows he has something to live for. He swims to shore.

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Lesson Plan

Everything I Never Told You Lesson Plans contain 126 pages of teaching material, including:

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