Everything Here is Beautiful
By: Mira T. Lee
Narrator Audio: Cassandra Campbell
Publisher: Pamela Dorman
Publication Date: 1/16/2018
My Rating: 3 Stars "A tender but unflinching portrayal of the bond between two sisters." —Celeste Ng, New York Times best-selling 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 sisters - Miranda, the older, responsible one, always her younger sister's 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 again - but only Lucia can decide whether she wants to be saved. The bonds of sisterly devotion stretch across oceans - but 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 woman's quest to find fulfillment and a life unconstrained by her illness. But it's also an unforgettable, gut-wrenching story of the sacrifices we make to truly love someone - and when loyalty to one's self must prevail over all.
Review to follow.
“Lee's debut novel is a profoundly relatable drama about how far you would, or should, go for family.” –Marie Claire
“This exquisite book is one that will hurtle past all your expectations.” –Bustle
“Deftly dealing with big issues such as mental illness and immigration, this debut is a powerful look at love and family.” –PopSugar
“[An] exciting debut about two sisters. . . the unpredictable changes of their lives, and the necessary sacrifices and important gifts that sisterhood brings.” –Southern Living
“[A] promising debut… Lee handles a sensitive subject with empathy and courage. Readers will find much to admire and ponder throughout, and Lucy’s section reveals Lee as a writer of considerable talent and power.” –Publishers Weekly
“An evocative and beautifully written debut.” –Kirkus Reviews
“Everything Here Is Beautiful is a tender but unflinching portrayal of the bond between two sisters--one that's frayed by mental illness and stretched across continents, yet still endures. With ventriloquistic skill, Mira T. Lee explores the heartache of loving someone deeply troubled and the unbearable tightrope-walk between holding on and letting go.” –Celeste Ng, New York Timesbestselling author of Little Fires Everywhere and Everything I Never Told You
“Stunning and unforgettable. . . filled with voices that resonate and haunt. An intimately personal tale about family, self, and the risks we take to care for the ones we love.” --Ruth Ozeki, New York Times bestselling author of A Tale for the Time Being
“Mira T. Lee deeply understands the human need for belonging, and in her compassionate debut, she presents an aching yet hopeful story of characters striving to belong despite vast impediments, and the emotional costs incurred in this quest for a love-filled life.” –Imbolo Mbue, author of the PEN/Faulkner award-winning Behold the Dreamers
“This heart-wrenching, delicately drawn novel is filled with family love, passion, pain and forgiveness. Mira T. Lee spins a story spanning oceans that draws us ever closer to her characters' generous, flawed hearts. Powerful and unforgettable.” –Jean Kwok, New York Times bestselling author of Mambo in Chinatown
“This book took my breath away. Lee has an incredible gift for empathy--I found myself rooting for, and caring deeply about, all of characters, even when they couldn't stand each other. I especially commend her nuanced, compassionate depiction of mental illness and how it impacts families. Everything Here Is Beautiful is an insightful, generous celebration of our capacity and complexity as human beings.” –Mark Lukach, internationally bestselling author of My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward
“Everything about this book is beautiful. It's a sisters story, an immigrant story, and, more than a story of one family, it's an unflinching reflection of the fast-changing American Family.” --Ron Fournier, New York Times bestselling author Love That Boy
“Everything Here is Beautiful vividly captures the kaleidoscope of emotional contradictions within our bonds to family and country. Mira T. Lee's powerful debut crafts an elegiac journey: uplifting, disturbing, and--proving its title--beautiful.” –Matthew Pearl, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Bookaneer “Mira Lee has crafted an eloquent, vivid story not just of mental illness, but of passionate longing and family love in which there are no perfect choices but always a pulsing light of hope.” –Lucy Ferriss, bestselling author of A Sister to Honor “I was steadily drawn into this beautifully-written story of enduring love and family, however family is defined. Mira T. Lee’s characters are captivating and very real, illustrating how intractable mental illness marks everyone in its sphere and renders the quotidian both beautiful and threatening. A compelling read.” –Daphne Kalotay, bestselling author of Sight Reading “Charismatic and electrifying. Lee makes vivid the messiness of life and the way we tie ourselves in knots just trying to do the simplest things: love and be loved in return. A knockout.” –Rufi Thorpe, author of Dear Fang, With Love
About the Author
Mira T. Lee's debut novel, Everything Here is Beautiful, was selected by the American Booksellers Association as one of Winter/Spring 2018's Top 10 Debut titles. Her short fiction has appeared in journals such as the Southern Review, the Gettysburg Review, the Missouri Review, Triquarterly, Harvard Review, and American Short Fiction, and has twice received special mention for the Pushcart Prize. She was awarded the Peden Prize for Best Short Story byThe Missouri Review (2010), and an Artist's Fellowship from the Massachusetts Cultural Council (2012).
In her previous lives, Mira has also been known as a graphic designer, a pop-country drummer, a salsa dancing fanatic, and a biology grad school dropout. Mira is an alum of Stanford University, and currently lives in Cambridge, MA. Read More