«Empathy: because the commonality among human beings is emotion, and the only way we can bridge our vast discrepancies in experience is through what we feel. Let us be humbled in the knowledge that one may never fully understand the interior lives of others – but let us continue to care.»
This was my third book in just a couple of months that strongly focused on characters and deep emotions. And you know what? I’m loving every second of these experiences. In «Everything Here is Beautiful» we see the story from multiple perspectives – Miranda, Lucia, Manny, Yonah. Their fates forever linked by one deep emotion – Empathy.
Mira T. Lee have done an amazing job bringing her characters to life. Even their language and choice of words changed accordingly and added that exquisite touch to their personalities. Making them as real as my next door neighbours.
Two sisters: Miranda, the older, responsible one, always her younger sister’s protector; Lucia, the vibrant, headstrong, unconventional one, whose impulses are huge and, often, life changing. When their mother dies and Lucia starts to hear voices, it’s Miranda who must fight for the help her sister needs — even as Lucia refuses to be defined by any doctor’s diagnosis.
Determined, impetuous, she plows ahead, marrying a big-hearted Israeli only to leave him, suddenly, to have a baby with a young Latino immigrant. She will move with her new family to Ecuador, but the bitter constant remains: she cannot escape her own mental illness. Lucia lives life on a grand scale, until inevitably, she crashes to earth. And then Miranda must decide, again, whether or not to step in — but this time, Lucia may not want to be saved. The bonds of sisterly devotion stretch across oceans, but what does it take to break them?
Told from alternating perspectives, Everything Here Is Beautiful is, at its core, a heart-wrenching family drama about relationships and tough choices — how much we’re willing to sacrifice for the ones we love, and when it’s time to let go and save ourselves.
GoodReads | Amazon | Book Depository | Author’s Website
«”What, Mei?” Her sister is pointing to the web again. It shimmers in the sun. Catches the morning light. “Look, Jie. See? It’s beautiful.”»
Miranda and Lucia, two Chinese-Americans, whose mother emigrated to the USA when Miranda was just a little girl and Luci was still tenderly protected in her mother’s womb. Out of the two of them, Lucia was always the vigorous and sparkling one, discovering the world in her own keen and energetic pace. While Miranda, surely affected by their early years in the states, took upon herself a responsible role.
Always being spontaneous and strong-willed, Lucia dashed after her dreams and emotions, and no-one could keep her in one spot, not even her illness.
“A duck,” said Lucia. “I’m going to paint you, a duck.” “A goose!” said Yonah. “Lucy Goosey, I’m going to paint you a goose.”»
As Lucia passed through Yonah’s and later Manny’s life, they would stay forever linked together. Either because of tenderness of one’s heart, or through much more complicated emotions. But there wasn’t a single moment when they would have forgotten Luci and how she changed their lives.
Manny: «When I first marry Lucia, people wonder who is this Chinese girl? I say, this is Lucia, and everybody likes Lucia. Wherever she goes she is friend with everyone. Lucia is like child this way, without walls.»
Emotional and heart-wrenching, «Everything Here is Beautiful» deserves so much more attention. Don’t go into it looking for plot twists and action, instead expect huge emotional response to the vivid characters and interlaced fates.
Thank you NetGalley and PENGUIN GROUP Viking, Pamela Dorman Books for the free ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.