Searching for Sylvie Lee

Searching for Sylvie Lee

A Novel

eBook - 2019
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INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A READ WITH JENNA • TODAY SHOW BOOK CLUB PICK  NAMED A MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK BY New York Times • Time • Marie Claire • Elle • Buzzfeed • Huffington Post • Good Housekeeping • The Week • Goodreads • New York Post • Publishers Weekly and many more “This is a true beach read! You can’t put it down!” – Jenna Bush Hager, Today Show Book Club Pick “Powerful  . . . A twisting tale of love, loss, and dark family secrets.”  — Paula Hawkins, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Girl on the Train and Into the Water 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.
Publisher: [S.l.]: HarperCollins, 2019.
ISBN: 9780062834331
Characteristics: 336 p.
Additional Contributors: cloudLibrary

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t
teemsum
Oct 18, 2020

A bittersweet tapestry.

e
echong0430
Sep 15, 2020

I find this book a good read.
The plots are interesting enough, and the suspense just enough to keep me reading.
A previous poster's critique of the lack of language skills of the book's characters is unfounded - many of the characters are supposed non native speakers of English, so their lack of English language skills is appropriate.
I find some of the gratuitous "violence" and sexual attractions overdone and not really necessary. I think the author was trying to provide more depth to the book, but it really didn't work out all that well.
But overall, I enjoyed this book.

s
sjarrell0
Jul 06, 2020

Holy crap this book was heartbreaking and so good. One of the best books I've read in a long time.

IndyPL_LeahK Dec 26, 2019

Jean Kwok in her latest novel details the lives of two sisters who grew up in New York with their Chinese immigrant parents. Chapters alternate between Amy and her mother in the present and her older sister, Sylvie, set two months earlier before her disappearance. Although at the on-set Kwok establishes a suspenseful mystery, the novel goes beyond wanting to know what happened to Sylvie, but who she really was. People are never who they appear to be and family secrets and dysfunctions cross over generations. If you can ignore some of the weaker plot pitfalls and far-fetched character action, it is a beautiful portrait of the Lee family one that spans three continents, three languages, and three generations.

p
peacebenow
Oct 14, 2019

This book had me trying to anticipate the next development at every chapter. Really enjoyed Kwok's detailed description of the non verbal cues of each of the characters involved. Well written with excellent character development. Will be thinking of Sylvie, Amy, Lukas, Flipe, Estelle and their extended families for a while.

Michael Colford Oct 13, 2019

This one was all over the place for me. Jean has a great handle on the immigrant experience, and her telling of a contemporary tale from three unique points of view works really well. There's a gentle mystery going on overlaying the family drama as well. What doesn't work for me at all is the cliched romance and soap opera ending. Sadly it really tainted the whole experience for me. I think I may try one of her earlier novels and hope I like it better!

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Jul 20, 2019

While the "big reveal" wasn't really very surprising, I loved the long unwinding of character details that slowly made the outcome inevitable. I also really enjoyed the multiple layers of immigration narratives: Chinese immigrants in the United States vs. Chinese Immigrants in Holland.

c
ccnoot
Jul 19, 2019

Joan London

s
Ssaaddy
Jun 10, 2019

Saw a lot of hype for this book but what a disappointment. Have not read any of her other books so can only review this disaster of a book. Poorly written as the same charachter will speak in different ways that drove me crazy. One sentence without prounons as if they could not speak their respective language, then without contractions then in the vernacular, using slang or contractions, all in the same conversation. All the characters did this so was it poor editing or does she write this poorly? The plot was pretty thin and the characters not well fleshed out so motivation for a lot of action was thin on the ground. All in all, unless you like this kind of treacle don't waste your time.

debwalker Jun 04, 2019

Secrets of a Chinese American family in the Netherlands.

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