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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Everything Here Is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee - Book Review & Giveaway

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Review by Suze

Miranda and Lucia are sisters. Miranda is always looking out for the younger and more impulsive Lucia. Their single mother is from China, but relocates to the United States where she's getting an education and is working hard to give her daughters a good future. Miranda and Lucia are both intelligent and talented and they each study hard. However, when their mother dies the first cracks start to appear in their relationship. Lucia is struggling with demons Miranda doesn't understand. Miranda is trying to keep her sister safe, but it's difficult because of Lucia's erratic behavior. What will happen to the sisters now that they only have each other?

Lucia marries an older man because he's her soul mate. She's happy for a while, but then the unpredictable uncontrolled behavior starts coming back and it's much worse this time. Miranda tries to get help for her sister, but Lucia doesn't want to listen to her. The problems between them become much deeper. Eventually Miranda moves to Switzerland to follow her own happiness, but she never stops taking care of Lucia. Lucia leaves her husband to have a child with a man originally from Ecuador and that is when she completely spirals out of control. What will happen to the mentally ill Lucia, will she be able to get the care she needs and have a little bit of stability or will her illness keep making life hard for her? Can Miranda still manage to provide the support her sister has to have or is she in over her head?

Everything Here Is Beautiful is a fantastic impressive story. Miranda and Lucia couldn't be more different and I liked the alternating points of view, which makes it possible to get to know them both very well. Miranda is the voice of reason. She is serious, knows what she wants, hardly has any joy and is incredibly driven. Lucia is a free spirit who has a lot of fun at first. Lucia's illness makes her careless and she makes decisions she later regrets. It's difficult for her to be a mother, but she does the best she can. Lucia struggles with her illness and taking medication she doesn't want to take. My heart ached for everything she has to go through. It's tough for both her and her sister who has to watch her destruction without being able to do anything to help her. I admired the open and emphatic way Mira T. Lee describes the mental illness Lucia is dealing with. The result is a beautiful tragic, poignant story that moved me to tears.

Mira T. Lee's writing is vibrant, detailed and gorgeous. I liked the way she describes her settings. She makes it easy to picture them and she makes them come to life in a fantastic colorful way. I was fascinated by the cultures she writes about. She does this by giving fabulous details about food, running a household, the way people form friendships and much more. Every single element of her book is exactly right. I loved how she combines a gorgeous story about a complex sibling bond with unexpected twists and turns. Everything Here Is Beautiful is an amazing emotional novel that will stay with me for a long time.

Advice

If you love impressive stories about siblings you should definitely read Everything Here is Beautiful.

About Mira T. Lee


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.

Links

Website // Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads

Giveaway

One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a paperback copy of Everything Here Is Beautiful.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

21 comments:

  1. Everything Here Is Beautiful sounds like an incredibly moving and thoughtful exploration of mental illness and its toll on family and loved ones.

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  2. This sounds like a very insightful book--and the cover is incredible!

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  3. The Cover is wonderful!
    And I heard great things about this book :)

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  4. Congratulations on your debut novel, it sounds like a very impressive and moving story line.

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  5. this looks interesting and absorbing, would love to read xx

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  6. I’ve been hearing about this book. Lots of buzz. And lovely cover.

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  7. Been hearing about this book a lot and can't wait to read it

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  8. The cover is so beautiful! So is the story, can't wait to read it!

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  9. Lovely competition, sounds like a fabulous read

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  10. I have heard lot of good things about this book!

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  11. This looks a really interesting book

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  12. I also love reading the alternating points of view. Love the sound of his one and I'd love to read it.

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  13. congrats on such a great sounding book
    jan

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  14. This sounds like a story that could be difficult to read at times, but one you're so glad you did.

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  15. id love to read this. it sounds great

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  16. I think this would be right up my street.

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  17. Thanks for the great prize and competition. Good luck everyone!

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  18. This sounds like a very interesting read, I am glad more authors are starting to write about mental illness.

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