"It's only words, and words are all I have, to take your heart away." —Bee Gees
What an engrossing read that packs an emotional punch. Ng does a great job with the omniscient point of view, making us understand each of the characters even though we might not sympathize with some of them. Both the parents' and the children's sides of the story are equally engaging, although I could relate to the teenagers in particular, having grown up in the 1990s like them. I felt this to be a very human story. Everyone, both kids and adults, makes mistakes, no matter how strictly some of them follow the rules and try to create a perfect life.
At some point I was tempted to give this a rare 5 star rating because I was enjoying it so much, but I settled with 4 in the end since I wasn't satisfied with a few things. All of the characters have their own flaws but Mia becomes a rather too perfect, all-knowing character by the end. I also wished that all the Richardson children's secrets are revealed to their mother so she can treat them more fairly and not think that only her youngest child is capable of doing something wrong. But I still liked this very much. Lots of topics to think about and discuss, from motherhood to teen dynamics to interracial adoption. I will definitely check out Ng's first book.