Lydia is the apple of her parent’s eyes. She has her mother’s vivid blue eyes and her father’s jet black hair. For James, he hopes that she will become the person he never could be at school; popular, liked and the life and soul of any party. For Marilyn, she wants Lydia to be the doctor that she never became, rather than a mother and homemaker. As if these pressures are not enough, she has to contend with the spectre of race in her community. With a Chinese father and an American mother she had inherited the oriental looks along with her brother and sister. Nath, Hannah and Lydia suffer from the external pressures of race and the exclusions that 1970’s American society judged them on.
No one thought anything was wrong, until one day Lydia goes missing.
This is a really sad story really with a strong moral dimension about the perils of projecting your wishes and unrequited desires onto another individual. Ng has written eloquently about the way a family can implode and how each individual reacts to the after the loss of a child. I liked the effortless writing and certain aspects of the plot, but it just felt a little too woolly for me.