Family Portrait, Everything I never told you by Celeste Ng

The other day I stumbled on P!nk’s (Alecia Moore) song Family Portrait on Youtube. (The 2002 live version. She changed the lyrics through the years)

At the end of the song she (still) sang these lines.

In our family portrait we look pretty happy
(Can we work it out? Can we be a family?)
We look pretty normal, let’s go back to that
(I promise I’ll be better, Daddy please don’t leave)

Daddy don’t leave
Remember that the night you left you took my shining star?
Daddy don’t leave
Don’t leave us here alone

Mom will be nicer
I’ll be so much better, I’ll tell my brother
Oh, I won’t spill the milk at dinner
I’ll be so much better, I’ll do everything right
I’ll be your little girl forever
I’ll go to sleep at night

And my mind suddenly goes to Lydia, one of the characters on Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng. Through Pink’s voice, I felt like I heard Lydia’s begging to her mother.

Everything I Never Told You (Celeste Ng)

Pink’s life story that has inspired the song and Celeste Ng’s novel can’t be more different. (One about divorce the other about interracial marriage and racialism) But they both talk about a scar that a family (and society) left to the children.

Reading trough some pages I felt a little bit depressed. But I care enough to continue. Like birds they learn to fly in a cage too small for them all. (Perhaps this is not the best analogy). But they are all trying to live the best they can. I shed a few tears in the last couple of pages. At last this is a beautiful & hopeful story.


  1. Even though Ng’s book is not YA, somehow it reminds me of YA’s like Dancing on the Edge & Born Blue by Han Nolan. There’s some pain but also hopeful. (Like another Pink’s story on Perfect music video here.)    
  2. I know I don’t talked or reviewed about book often. It’s because finding a book that can really hooked you and you care about aren’t that often. I consider a book is great when I care to the characters. And left me still thinking about the story days, weeks, even months after I finished reading. Celeste Ng’s -Everything I never Told You is one of those book (Also Pink’s song Family Portrait. The video about Pink’s story about the song can be watched here. And the 2013 version is here.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s