Thanks to Dini @ Dini Panda Reads, I’m adding Goodreads Monday to my weekly meme schedule, and I’m excited to do this one. This weekly meme was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners and it invites you to pick a book from your TBR and explain why you want to read it.
Searching for Sylvie Lee
by Jean Kwok
Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: June 4, 2019
Genre: Mystery Thriller
Length: 336 pages
A poignant and suspenseful drama that untangles the complicated ties binding three women—two sisters and their mother—in one Chinese immigrant family and explores what happens when the eldest daughter disappears, and a series of family secrets emerge, from the New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Translation
It begins with a mystery. Sylvie, the beautiful, brilliant, successful older daughter of the Lee family, flies to the Netherlands for one final visit with her dying grandmother—and then vanishes.
Amy, the sheltered baby of the Lee family, is too young to remember a time when her parents were newly immigrated and too poor to keep Sylvie. Seven years older, Sylvie was raised by a distant relative in a faraway, foreign place, and didn’t rejoin her family in America until age nine. Timid and shy, Amy has always looked up to her sister, the fierce and fearless protector who showered her with unconditional love.
But what happened to Sylvie? Amy and her parents are distraught and desperate for answers. Sylvie has always looked out for them. Now, it’s Amy’s turn to help. Terrified yet determined, Amy retraces her sister’s movements, flying to the last place Sylvie was seen. But instead of simple answers, she discovers something much more valuable: the truth. Sylvie, the golden girl, kept painful secrets . . . secrets that will reveal more about Amy’s complicated family—and herself—than she ever could have imagined.
A deeply moving story of family, secrets, identity, and longing, Searching for Sylvie Lee is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive portrait of an immigrant family. It is a profound exploration of the many ways culture and language can divide us and the impossibility of ever truly knowing someone—especially those we love.
The first book I read from Jean Kwok was Girl in Translation, and I really enjoyed that novel. Her writing reminded me of listening to someone tell a story about their life. It didn’t flow perfectly like it needed to be told correctly, but it was done in a way that made so much sense to me. I don’t really know how to explain it, but there was just a familiar feeling to me from Kwok’s writing style. I actually would love to end up purchasing this novel in the future, but I just haven’t gotten around to it yet.
Whenever I find an author whose writing style and stories I like, I tend to try all of their novels as often as I can. This happened to be one that I found at my local indie bookstore the last time I was in the area. It was actually the same day that I found a couple Agatha Christie novels to try out. Since I already know that I enjoy Kwok and her writing, I figured it would be great to read this one. Here’s the stack of books I ended up getting, which I still need to read of course… Yeah, yeah don’t remind me.
Where Girl in Translation was a mix of historical fiction / contemporary, this one is more of a mystery thriller. I’m excited to see how Kwok does with a different genre. Both of these books are contemporary, but there wasn’t much of a mystery or thriller element to it. For Girl in Translation, it made sense not to have that in it. For this one, I’m curious to see how it goes. This also kind of reminds me of something that maybe Celeste Ng may write? Something along the lines of Everything I Never Told You, which happens to be another book that I liked and another new to me author that I want to read more from in the future.
I’ve also been talking about how I want to read more mysteries since I haven’t been doing so in a long while. Books like this gives me a chance to step into this genre again with some authors that I already trust and enjoy. I wonder if anyone else has read this one, because I would love to hear some of my friends’ thoughts about this novel.
Things have been pretty stressful here again. I think it just comes with the territory when you have a partner who does dangerous missions and can be gone for long periods of time. I’m happy to have him back with me even if its just for a moment. It also doesn’t help when he learns about more sad news regarding his family. I feel so terrible for him, knowing that there is honestly nothing that either one of us can do about it, especially him.
For now, we will try to make the most out of his time here with us again. His birthday is actually on Saturday, so I’m hoping we can do something to celebrate. So far he doesn’t want to eat at this amazing steakhouse that my mom and I went to when she was here for my surgery recovery, and I have no idea if some plans will go through regarding some family coming up to see him. We will see though. I just hope that we can have some happy times while also preparing for this long separation.
This post is super late in the day because honestly, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to post anything. I like being able to post every day like I used to, and even though I wanted to write something else today – maybe something more personal? I don’t really know yet – I at least did this kind of post. I never run out of books to find on Goodreads that I want to read, so I trust that I will always have something to share for Goodreads Monday! Even if they are backlisted novels like this one, because of course there are so many books out there that I still haven’t been able to read! I feel like I said that already, and honestly that is something that I need to address somehow. When I can.
It’s been great, everyone. See you soon.