Book ✓ Searching for Sylvie Lee Ì 336 pages

Text ï Searching for Sylvie Lee ´ Jean Kwok

Searching for Sylvie LeeWhen 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 loveBut 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 la 35 starsWhile its title suggests this book is a mystery and certainly there is a mystery component Jean Kwok's Searching for Sylvie Lee is also a study of family dynamics and an exploration of how secrets can destroy relationshipsSylvie Lee is the daughter of Chinese immigrants When she was very young her parents were too poor to raise her in America so they allowed her to be raised by cousins and her maternal grandmother in the Netherlands Life wasn't easy there for Sylvie—an awkward child she faced a lot of ridicule as well as racism being one of very few Chinese among her Dutch classmates and neighborsWhile Sylvie's grandmother and her cousin Willem treated her with love Willem's wife Helena took an instant dislike to her and seemed to single her out for mistreatment Sylvie didn't understand why she was deserving of such cruelty but she took comfort in her relationship with Willem and Helena's son LukasAt age nine Sylvie returns home to the US She now has a younger sister Amy for whom she becomes a protector and despite there being a seven year age difference the two forge a very close relationship Sylvie encourages Amy at every turn gives her the courage and support to do anything she wants since their parents spend most of their time working to make ends meetYears later Sylvie returns to the Netherlands when she learns her grandmother is dying As much as she has changed from the awkward ugly girl to a beautiful intelligent woman returning to the Netherlands reopens old resentments with Helena and confuses her heart And then Sylvie vanishes Her Dutch cousins assumed she was on her way home; her family in America thought she was still in the NetherlandsThat had always been Sylvie's role to go forth and have adventures My job was to wait for her to return home safely Now the country mouse has been forced into the great devouring worldAs Amy tries to figure out what happened to Sylvie she begins uncovering secrets that Sylvie kept hidden from them all things that showed her life wasn't as successful and happy as she had led everyone to believe When Amy travels to the Netherlands—her first time traveling anywhere much less internationally—she finds herself in the midst of the tensions of her Dutch relatives and discovers that in the Netherlands things for Sylvie were confusing and painful beyond simply grieving for her grandmotherWhat happened to Sylvie? Did she simply need to take a break from it all as some suggested or was something nefarious at play? Did someone harm her? Is someone responsible for her disappearance and perhaps her death? Amy is a stranger in an unfamiliar country surrounded by people with secrets and yet there's even she doesn't know Searching for Sylvie Lee is narrated by Amy Sylvie and their mother and shifts back and forth through time Through each woman's eyes you see things that go unsaid emotions that are hidden and fear of the truth being exposed There are some powerful emotions in this story and so many places where if only people had spoken up things could have been differentI'm always a fan of stories about family dysfunction and this is certainly one of those Kwok is a very talented storyteller; I read one of her previous books Girl in Translation a number of years ago and her skills have gotten even stronger since then Even though there is a great deal of melodrama in the plot none of what occurs seems far fetched or unrealisticI definitely figured out some of the mystery before it was revealed and while I wasn't necessarily surprised by how things ultimately unfolded I had hoped for a different conclusion At times too the book's pacing was very slow and I wanted less flashbacks and focusing on Sylvie's disappearanceIf you're looking for a mystery I don't know that this will foot the bill but if you're looking for a well told story of a family shattered by secrets Searching for Sylvie Lee may be just the book for youSee all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoriablogspotcomCheck out my list of the best books I read in 2018 at You can follow me on Instagram at

Jean Kwok ´ Searching for Sylvie Lee Mobi

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 TranslationIt 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 vanishesAmy the sheltered baby of the Lee family is too young to remember a time It is so hard to figure out why a book will resonate so greatly with some and not others This book is a case in point it has garnered some terrific reviews but there were some plot points that were for me not realistic A young Chinese woman disappears after returning to the Netherlands when the grandmother that helped raise her was dying Although her parents lived in the United States Sylvie herself lived in the Netherlands for her first nine years Her younger sister Amy who thinks Sylvie perfect flies to the Netherlands to find out what happened to her sisterIn alternating chapters we hear from Amy Sylvie herself and their mother Changing views of Sylvie are revealed from her own words There are many family secrets and a suspected hidden treasures passed down from mother to daughter Jealousy and its ill effects an ugliness that spreads The struggle for immigrants to assimilate Yet I had trouble connecting to the characters We do find out what happened to Sylvie and why though I didn't feel I was given enough reasons to find the ending credibleARC from librarything

Epub Searching for Sylvie Lee

Book ✓ Searching for Sylvie Lee Ì 336 pages ☆ ➜ [Epub] ❧ Searching for Sylvie Lee By Jean Kwok ➦ – Johns-cycling-diary.co.uk 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 whaSt place Sylvie was seen But instead of simple answers she discovers something much valuable the truth Sylvie the golden girl kept painful secrets secrets that will reveal about Amy’s complicated family and herself than she ever could have imaginedA 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 I’m between 35 and 4 stars on this one so I’ll round up This was a compelling story about a Chinese immigrant family and the struggles they go through to create a life for themselves in a new country where despite their best efforts they never truly feel that they belong Sylvie Lee is the beautiful and successful older daughter who was sent off to live with her grandmother and her cousin’s family in the Netherlands when she was only a few months old despite being reunited with her parents when she turned nine the time away unfortunately had a lasting effect on Sylvie’s relationship with her parents – especially with her mother Amy Lee is the baby of the family – only 2 years old when Sylvie returned to her parents Amy’s timid and shy nature contrasted sharply with Sylvie’s bold and fearless personality yet the two sisters developed an unbreakable bond To Amy Sylvie was her fiercest protector a sister she adored and looked up to and in some ways became of a mother to her than their own parents who were constantly absent due to work One day after flying back to the Netherlands to pay their dying grandmother one final visit Sylvie vanishes without a trace Distraught yet determined to find her sister Amy flies to the Netherlands and retraces Sylvie’s steps she soon discovers that there was another side to her sister she never knew about At the same time the awkwardness of her cousin’s family leads Amy to believe that they might be hiding something perhaps having to do with Sylvie In her desperation to find her sister and convinced that she is racing against time Amy ramps up her search which leads her to discover a devastating family secret – one that when ultimately revealed threatens to tear the family apart What happened to Sylvie Lee? And what role if any did her family have in her disappearance? The first half of the story definitely had me enthralled and kept me turning the pages not wanting to put the book down for even a minute Being a Chinese immigrant myself I was definitely able to resonate with the various challenges that the Lee family went through as they tried to assimilate to life in the US – the cultural divide between the parents and the children due to the drastically different environments in which they were raised the impact of language and the communication barriers that can arise within the family as a result of differences in language the never ending struggle to prove yourself to show that your parents’ sacrifices were not in vain the frustrations of constantly having to deal with the bias prejudices and preconceived stereotypes of a society that is less welcoming to those who are different from them the sense that you will never truly “belong” no matter how successful you become or how well you are able to align yourself with your surroundings This was the side of the story that drew me in the most and I felt it was very effective to have the narration alternate between Amy Sylvie and their mother as we get to understand this family and each of the characters much in depth With all that said though the middle section was where things started to drag a little and while it did pick back up in the end I had actually already figured out most of the story by then so it unfortunately made the ending anti climactic for me I also felt that the parts of the story related to the “mystery” aspect specifically dealing with Sylvia’s disappearance felt a bit detached and lacked the emotional pull I expected – when we do eventually find out “what happened” and “why” it felt rushed and the emotional aspect seemed like it was glossed over a bitthis was especially so during the “big reveal” scene at the very end In a way I felt like perhaps there was a bit too much going on plot wise in the second half of the book which caused the narrative to unravel a bit as the story headed toward its end As a mysterythriller novel I felt this didn’t work too well as the suspense part was a bit weak in my opinion – I never really got the “edge of your seat” “hold on for the ride” feel from this one The cultural elements were well done though and I feel like those elements along with the writing were what made this story well worth reading plus the fact that I was able to get a good feel for the characters and connect with them Overall this was a thought provoking read and even though I wasn’t too keen on the mystery suspense aspect I felt it did a good job exploring the challenges of being both an immigrant and a woman of color in today’s world This is my first time reading Jean Kwok’s work and of course it won’t be my last – I’ve had both of her previous novels on my TBR for uite some time already and I definitely intend to get to them at some point After I finished this book I did some follow up research and found out that Kwok’s inspiration for the story came from her own family background as well as the tragedy her family experienced losing her older brother Kwan in a plane crash 10 years ago Channeling the pain and grief from that experience plus her own story of immigrating from Hong Kong to the US as a child and later moving to the Netherlands Kwok was able to deliver a poignant culturally resonant story one that I definitely recommend Received ARC from William Morrow HarperCollins via Edelweiss