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Everything Here Is Beautiful

Length: 13 hrs and 19 mins
4 out of 5 stars (240 ratings)
Regular price: $31.50
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Publisher's Summary

"A tender but unflinching portrayal of the bond between two sisters." (Celeste Ng, New York Times best-selling author of Little Fires Everywhere and Everything I Never Told You)

A dazzling novel of two sisters and their emotional journey through love, loyalty, and heartbreak 

Two sisters - Miranda, the older, responsible one, always her younger sister's protector; Lucia, the headstrong, unpredictable one, whose impulses are huge and, often, life changing. When their mother dies and Lucia starts hearing voices, it is Miranda who must find a way to reach her sister. But Lucia impetuously plows ahead, marrying a bighearted, older man only to leave him, suddenly, to have a baby with a young Latino immigrant. She moves her new family from the States to Ecuador and back again, but the bitter constant is that she is, in fact, mentally ill. Lucia lives life on a grand scale, until, inevitably, she crashes to earth. 

Miranda leaves her own self-contained life in Switzerland to rescue her sister again - but only Lucia can decide whether she wants to be saved. The bonds of sisterly devotion stretch across oceans - but what does it take to break them? 

Told in alternating points of view, Everything Here Is Beautiful is, at its heart, the story of a young woman's quest to find fulfillment and a life unconstrained by her illness. But it's also an unforgettable, gut-wrenching story of the sacrifices we make to truly love someone - and when loyalty to one's self must prevail over all. 

©2018 Mira T. Lee (P)2018 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“There's not a false note to be found, and everywhere there are nuggets to savor. Why did it have to end?” (O Magazine

“A bold debut...Lee sensitively relays experiences of immigration and mental illnes...a distinct literary voice.” (Entertainment Weekly)

“Lee's debut novel is a profoundly relatable drama about how far you would, or should, go for family.” (Marie Claire

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Review

What a beautiful story. Having loved someone with a mental illness it was so “on point” from the family perspective. Touching, hopeful, realistic, sad but true. This is life.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Gorgeous writing/real characters

They way she wove the characters lives together was stunning. Loved every word. I never have read a book so fast. I want to read it again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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everything here is indeed beautiful

It was such a moving, raw, and real story. Narrated perfectly. Everything here is beautiful.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Beautiful story

This book rambles around a bit, and is told from multiple perspectives, but the underlying story is so touching and beautiful. As a sister of someone who struggled with mental illness, and eventually lost his battle, this touched a deep part of my heart. It is so raw and true. Thank you for sharing an honest account from both sides of the illness.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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awesome

I really enjoyed listening to this book. Excellent story, I loved the character development. A good read for just about everyone.

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Slow and Tedious

I stuck with this book to the bitter end hoping for some payoff, but the juice was just not worth the squeeze. The performances were the best part of listening and helped to animate some of the characters, however, even the best narration couldn't breathe enough life into this story for me.

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I just did not love this book!

Very disappointing. I was expecting better after reading all the other reviews. The book was boring to say the least until it got towards the end. Told way too slow and sometimes the narrators bordered on annoying. So sorry. I never write bad reviews but wow. Not good!

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  • Gretchen
  • Salinas, CA, United States
  • 12-10-18

Heartbreakingly Beautiful

Beautifully written, character driven novel about sisters, both educated, and highly intelligent, but one with bipolar disorder. Mira T. Lee portrays the struggle of the younger sister not wanting to be held back by her mental illness, and the older sister, wanting to be there for her sister, but also wanting to live her own life. I felt it was a realistic representation of a family affected by mental illness.

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A heart-felt look at mental illness

I loved everything about this amazing debut novel, including the quirky opening line above. Everything Here Is Beautiful covers many themes, but the most central is the effects of mental illness on the person affected, as well as everyone that loves them. The story is told in chapters with alternating points of view from the four main characters - Miranda, Lucia, Yonah and Manny. The author creates insight and empathy for all of them, as they all have very distinct voices. Each chapter is long enough that each of these complex, vivid characters start to feel like real people with real issues.

Lucia, is diagnosed with a mental disorder. We meet her when she is a witty, vivacious and impulsive young woman, and then witness her struggle with the serpents in her head as she experience delusions and has to be hospitalized. The chapters inside Lucia's head was so powerful, for the first time I really understand how real these delusions are, why someone may not want to take their medication and how, once diagnosed, you are forever worrying if you're tipping over into madness again. She also has to deal with the stigma of being diagnosed with a mental illness.
In Crote Six, they said I “suffer” from schizoaffective disorder. That’s like the sampler plate of diagnoses, Best of Everything. But I don’t want to suffer. I want to live.

The reality is that loving someone with a mental illness is draining and scary. You feel helpless, guilty and quite often the person you are trying to help, won't agree with the choices you made for them. Miranda, Lucia's sister, sometimes comes across as uptight and judgmental but to be fair it's not like she can be as free-spirited as her sister. Someone has to be the responsible one and be there when everything falls apart. With Manny, Lucia's boyfriend, the author show us how this is even worse when that person is not equipped to deal with the situation - be it because of cultural differences, legal status or unfamiliarity with mental illnesses. The chapter narrated by Yonah, Lucia's ex-husband, tore my heart into a million pieces - so much love, joy and kindness in one person.

This beautifully written, compassionate and multifaceted novel shows us that there are no easy answers, and no correct way of dealing with these type of difficult situations. I highly recommend this to everyone.

#Fiction #Contemporary #Mental-health #Literary #Beautiful #Recommended #Best-narration #Tagsgiving #Sweepstakes

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Mental illness in cultural perspective.

Well written story of two sisters, one with schizophrenia. Immigrants navigating health care a society in America.