- About the Book
A tender but unflinching portrayal of the bond between two sisters.Celeste Ng, New York Times bestselling author of Little Fires Everywhere and Everything I Never Told You A dazzling novel of two sisters and their emotional journey through love, loyalty, and heartbreak Two sistersMiranda, the older, responsible one, always her younger sisters protector; Lucia, the headstrong, unpredictable one, whose impulses are huge and, often, life changing. When their mother dies and Lucia starts hearing voices, it is Miranda who must find a way to reach her sister. But Lucia impetuously plows ahead, marrying a bighearted, older man only to leave him, suddenly, to have a baby with a young Latino immigrant. She moves her new family from the States to Ecuador and back again, but the bitter constant is that she is, in fact, mentally ill. Lucia lives life on a grand scale, until, inevitably, she crashes to earth. Miranda leaves her own self-contained life in Switzerland to rescue her sister againbut only Lucia can decide whether she wants to be saved. The bonds of sisterly devotion stretch across oceansbut what does it take to break them? Told in alternating points of view, Everything Here Is Beautiful is, at its heart, the story of a young womans quest to find fulfillment and a life unconstrained by her illness. But its also an unforgettable, gut-wrenching story of the sacrifices we make to truly love someoneand when loyalty to ones self must prevail over all.
Sisterly ties take on brilliant nuance in Mira T. Lee's shattering debut about love, loss, psychosis, and what we owe ourselves and the family we love. Everything Here Is Beautiful" focuses on everything that is most definitely not, from the dangers facing illegal immigrants in America to the relentless poverty in Ecuador, to the punishing scorch of mental disorders.... As beautifully written as it is bleak, the book is told from the alternating points of view of Lucia, Miranda, Yonah, and Manuel, but therein is a prominent fault.... We don't truly get to know Lucia until halfway through the book, when Lee lets her speak and tell her own story, and then the novel roars alive and lets us experience Lucia's illness right along with her.... With expert grace and compassion, Lee moves her cast of characters through the years, ending with 10-year-old Esperanza and a soupçon of hope.
Mira T. Lee's impressive debut novel, Everything Here Is Beautiful, is a tale of two sisters who, each in her own way, is victim of the same disease. That disease is mental illness, and it forms the yin to the yang of the book's title because, doubtful though it may sound, Lee's story is not the heavy lift you might expect it to be.... It's to Lee's credit that she divides her sympathies between Lucia and those who care about her. Yes, her book is about the bond between two sisters, as indicated on its cover. But its real achievement goes beyond that relationship and depicts the way mental illness shapes family dynamics no matter how that bond is formed. Manny and Yonah count, too.... Everything Here Is Beautiful finds the sweet spot between the truth and beauty of a disease that can inspire hope in the midst of sadness and frustration.
...[an] extraordinary debut novel... The novel covers decades at a swift clip, but it never feels rushed or lightly explored. There's a lifelike texture to the fast passage of time, each relationship painted with deep, efficient strokes. Lee is a cogent, controlled writer, hitting big themes immigration, mental illness, romance, family while avoiding the usual traps of mawkishness and emotional manipulation (the one misstep being the neat little epilogue).... Everything Here Is Beautiful is no fairy tale. It springs from the rich mess of love and pain and humanity, the restlessness of real life that ensures nothing is fixed ever after.