Searching for Sylvie Lee
By Jean Kwok
NAMED A MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK BY New York Times • Time • Marie Claire • Elle • Buzzfeed • Huffington Post • Good Housekeeping • The Week • Goodreads • New York Post • and many more!
“Kwok’s story spans generations, continents and language barriers, combining old-fashioned Nancy Drew sleuthing with the warmth and heart we’ve come to expect from this gifted writer.” (New York Times Book Review)
“I couldn’t help but continue to read to figure out where she was and what happened to her. You can’t put it down!”
(Jenna Bush Hager, Today Show Book Club Pick)
“Her book explores the mirage of the American Dream. Sylvie seems to have made it in every sense of the word, but Kwok’s story asks: What is the price of realizing this dream? And who must pay it?” (New York Times)
It 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 vanishes.
Amy, the sheltered baby of the Lee family, is too young to remember a time when 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 love.
But 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 last place Sylvie was seen. But instead of simple answers, she discovers something much more valuable: the truth. Sylvie, the golden girl, kept painful secrets . . . secrets that will reveal more about Amy’s complicated family—and herself—than she ever could have imagined.
A 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.