This book was filled with complex characters. Also, there was a lot of miscommunication wrapped up in misplaced responsibility. James felt responsible to be the bread winner and to give his kids the “American Dream.” Marilyn felt responsible to be the perfect wife, mother, and to help Lydia achieve her goals. Nath felt that he had to work twice as hard to show his worth to his family, especially his father. Lydia felt that she had to keep the family together by living her mother’s dream for her. Hannah felt like she had to be invisible because she was the unplanned child; the one who changed the course of the family history.
James never expressed his feelings of displacement or isolation with his family. He wanted better for his kids, but he took his frustration out on Nath when he turned out to be just like his dad. Marilyn never told James how much her dreams and career meant to her. He didn’t understand because she abandoned them so freely when they had Nath and Lydia. Since she never followed her dreams she pushed them on Lydia, who never wanted anything except her mother just like Nath wanted his father. And all Hannah wanted was to be noticed. Everything I Never Told you explores the background and inner workings of the nuclear family. It shows that everyone experiences trauma in families whether it’s intentionally caused or not.