Genre: Literary Fiction
Length: 384 pages
First Published: 2023
1999: The Kim family is struggling to move on with their lives after their mother, Sunny, vanished a year ago. Sixty-one-year-old John Kim feels more isolated from his grown children, Anastasia and Ronald, than ever before. But one evening, their fragile lives are further upended when John discovers the body of a dead stranger in the backyard. The tragedy seems random until it’s revealed that the dead man was carrying a letter to Sunny, sparking a desperate investigation into the stranger’s history and possible connections to Sunny—only to discover that someone has been watching them.
1977: Sunny is pregnant and has just moved to Los Angeles from Korea with her work-obsessed husband. America is not turning out the way she had dreamed it to be, and the loneliness and isolation is broken only by a fateful encounter at a bus stop. The unexpected connection spans the decades and echoes into the family’s lives in the present as they uncover devastating secrets that put not only everything they thought they knew about their mother at risk, but their very lives as well.
Both a riveting page-turner and moving family story, What We Kept to Ourselves masterfully explores the consequences of secrets between parents and children, husbands and wives, the search for home when all seems lost, and what it means to dream in America.