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All That's Left Unsaid
All That's Left Unsaid: A Novel | Tracey Lien
13 posts | 11 read | 5 to read
For fans of Everything I Never Told You and The Mothers, a deeply moving and unflinching debut following a young Vietnamese-Australian woman who returns home to her family in the wake of her brothers shocking murder, determined to discover what happeneda dramatic exploration of the intricate bonds and obligations of friendship, family, and community. Just let him go. These are the words Ky Tran will forever regret. The words she spoke when her parents called to ask if they should let her younger brother Denny out to celebrate his high school graduation with friends. That night, Dennyoptimistic, guileless, brilliant Dennyis brutally murdered inside a busy restaurant in the Sydney suburb of Cabramatta, a refugee enclave facing violent crime, an indifferent police force, and the worst heroin epidemic in Australian history. Returning home to Cabramatta for the funeral, Ky learns that the police are stumped by Dennys case: a dozen people were at Lucky 8 restaurant when Denny died, but each of the bystanders claim to have seen nothing. Desperately hoping that understanding what happened might ease her suffocating guilt, Ky sets aside her grief and determines to track down the witnesses herself. With each encounter, she peels back another layer of the place that shaped her and Denny, exposing trauma and seeds of violence that were planted well before that fateful celebration dinner: by colonialism, by the war in Vietnam, and by the choices theyve all made to survive. Alternating between Kys voice and the perspectives of the witnesses, Tracey Liens extraordinary debut is at once heart-pounding and heart-rending as it probes the intricate bonds of friendship, family, and community through an unforgettable cast of characters, all connected by a devastating crime. Combining evocative family drama and gripping suspense, All Thats Left Unsaid is a profound and moving page turner, perfect for readers of Liz Moore, Brit Bennett, and Celeste Ng.
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review
Singout
Pickpick

A brilliant Australian novel about Vietnam-born Ky, the bridge between her parents and their new country, who when she is a young adult learns that her gifted brother has been brutally murdered. There is a thread of murder mystery here, with flashbacks to Ky‘s adolescence, but far more about immigration and mistrust of police, culture and race, teen friendships across class borders, and family struggles.
#ReadingOceania2024 #Australia

Librarybelle Great review! 2mo
BarbaraBB Sounds so good! 2mo
Singout Interesting parallels with Book of Goose regarding teen friendship between girls of different classes. 2mo
18 likes3 comments
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Singout
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To anyone else, Eddie‘s reason would‘ve been baffling. But Ky understood. She hated how well she now understood. After all, hadn‘t she kept every hurt she‘d experienced from her own parents? Hadn‘t she hidden the bullying, the name-calling, the times she‘d been told to go back where she came from, the “ching—chongs,” the pulled-back eyelids, the blondies with their Cabbage Patch kids, the way she was asked why she couldn‘t just take a joke? /1

Singout /2 Hadn‘t she lived her own ambitious, exciting, anxious, uncompromising life, while knowing she could never, ever, ever, ever tell her parents about what she had been through? Because knowing would break their hearts. Because she had to help them believe that their sacrifices had paid off. Because she had to help them believe that moving to a country where they didn‘t speak the language and weren‘t seen as individuals had been worth it. 2mo
Suet624 😭💕💕 1mo
9 likes2 comments
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Singout
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“I‘m going to decorate my house in a Western style,” Denny said, during one of their last phone calls. “Do you mean, like, Wild West?””No, like white people.” “Have you ever been in a white person‘s house?”Ky asked, genuinely curious. “I watch Better Homes & Gardens,” Denny said. “Mom watches it too, but I think she does it to feel superior to white people. She reckons they‘re super impractical and waste money on decorative junk they don‘t need.”

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Jemgirl2014
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My latest book club read. Just started. I can tell it‘s going to be a very emotional read. However, it‘s good so far!

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Night_Reader
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❤️ Tracey Lien

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Night_Reader
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Pickpick

5/5 🌟

The story revolves around a teenage boy who falls victim to a violent murder, and his sister, Ky, embarks on a relentless quest to uncover the truth behind this senseless tragedy. The narrative delves into the themes of generational trauma, loss, identity, belonging, and the struggle to survive in a culture and country that often vilify you. It's astonishing to think that this is Tracey Lien's debut novel. I'm truly amazed and in awe.

BarbaraBB Sounds very good 7mo
Night_Reader @BarbaraBB this book is set in the 90s, in a real place called Cabramatta, in Sydney, where a lot of Vietnamese immigrants/refugees live. During the 90s, it experienced a heroin epidemic. So that's the context of the book. The author has done an amazing job depicting the place and time . I grew up nearby so it brought back lots of memories. 7mo
13 likes2 comments
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ClairesReads
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Pickpick

A very strong debut novel, which is an interesting take on a crime story. Lien is expert in her ability to capture place, 1990s Cabramatta comes vividly to life in this novel. It is a thoughtful, emotive, affecting story of inherited trauma, xenophobia, and the complexity of crafting identity in a refugee community. An excellent read, which although measured in pace managed to create tension where needed to drive the reading experience.

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Abailliekaras
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Pickpick

A good debut novel set in Cabramatta, Sydney. This area has a large Vietnamese refugee community & had a heroin epidemic in the 90s. Lien grew up there so her characters & sense of place feel authentic, w rich details that come from lived experience. She shows the parents‘ trauma & children caught between 2 cultures, facing pressure to succeed & racism. The story around Denny‘s murder lacked tension for me, but a great insight & slice of life.

CarolynM Great review. 1y
Abailliekaras @CarolynM thank you! 1y
33 likes2 comments
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Jolynne
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Pickpick

An unforgettable tale of generational trauma, anti-Asian racism, childhood friendship, and the trauma of losing a dearly loved child and sibling. How can such a story leave you with so much hope for future generations?
It does.
"How do you sum up a life? How do you capture who a person was, what they meant to you, and who they could have been?" From the author.

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keepingupwiththepenguins
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Pickpick

This is an amazing story of inherited trauma, the cruelty of loss, and the impact of xenophobia. Lien does a brilliant job of bringing mid-90s Sydney to life. Her characters are carefully crafted and completely believable. The comparisons to Celeste Ng are absolutely warranted. Full review: https://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/all-thats-left-unsaid-tracey-lien/

CarolynM Great review. Stacked. (edited) 2y
keepingupwiththepenguins @CarolynM Thank you! Enjoy 😍 2y
53 likes4 stack adds2 comments
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TracyReadsBooks
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Pickpick

Returning home in the wake of her brother‘s murder, Ky Tran finds her parent‘s lack of interest in finding out what happened infuriating. Ostensibly a story about Ky‘s need to uncover the truth, the story is less about her brother‘s murder & more an unflinching look at what it means to be a refugee, the choices people make & the weight of history, family, friendship, community, & culture. Told from multiple POVs this is a solid debut. Out 9/22.

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TracyReadsBooks
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Starting this one tonight…

22 likes1 stack add
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TracyReadsBooks
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Love coming home after 28 hours of travel to find a stack of books waiting for me—makes the long day a little more palatable. I had less than no time for reading while excavating so I‘m looking forward to making up for lost time. Decisions, decisions…