Searching for Sylvie Lee

Searching for Sylvie Lee

A poignant and suspenseful drama that untangles the complicated ties binding three women—two sisters and their mother—in one Chinese immigrant family and explores what happens when the eldest daughter disappears, and a series of family secrets emerge, from the New York Times bestselling author of Girl in TranslationIt begins with a mystery. Sylvie, the beautiful, brilliant...

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Title:Searching for Sylvie Lee
Author:Jean Kwok
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Searching for Sylvie Lee Reviews

  • Jenna Friebel

    Jean Kwok has created another wonderful novel. Family saga, culture, secrets, suspense... and ultimately, heartbreaking.

  • Jean Kwok

    I'm so thankful for your interest in SEARCHING FOR SYLVIE LEE (coming 6/4)! Check out the recent NYT article (

    ), plus chapters 1, 2 and 3 have been released on my website (

    ). My book tour schedule is here (

    ) - I'd love to meet you! Thank you all so much for taking the time to read and rate. I hope very much that you like it and I am so grateful to you for being my readers. :)

  • Brooke

    Jean Kwok does it again with Searching for Sylvie Lee. This captivating novel shares the story of a family dealing with unraveling a mystery. Sisters Sylvie and Amy have many differences but share an abiding love. When Sylvie goes missing in the Netherlands, it’s her sister who will do anything to find her.

    Kwok navigates cultures and narrative perspectives deftly in this novel. There’s unique balance in this book between suspense and story. I highly recommend adding this book to your TBR list fo

    Jean Kwok does it again with Searching for Sylvie Lee. This captivating novel shares the story of a family dealing with unraveling a mystery. Sisters Sylvie and Amy have many differences but share an abiding love. When Sylvie goes missing in the Netherlands, it’s her sister who will do anything to find her.

    Kwok navigates cultures and narrative perspectives deftly in this novel. There’s unique balance in this book between suspense and story. I highly recommend adding this book to your TBR list for when it hits the shelves (June 2019).

    I adored Girl in Translation, so I was delighted to receive an ARC of this book from the publisher. (Many thanks to William Morrow and Jean Kwok for providing me with a copy in exchange for an unbiased review.)

  • Katrina

    I found

    an enthralling, thought-provoking and emotional read. This book combines gorgeous, literary prose with a powerfully suspenseful plot. As the characters navigate multiple languages and cultures, and the web of relationships that holds them together grows more complex, the novel's insights about family, culture, gender and love rise to the surface, surprising and delighting the reader.

    The book begins as Amy discovers that something has gone terribly wrong with her

    I found

    an enthralling, thought-provoking and emotional read. This book combines gorgeous, literary prose with a powerfully suspenseful plot. As the characters navigate multiple languages and cultures, and the web of relationships that holds them together grows more complex, the novel's insights about family, culture, gender and love rise to the surface, surprising and delighting the reader.

    The book begins as Amy discovers that something has gone terribly wrong with her gorgeous, successful older sister Sylvie and embarks on a journey to try and piece together the mystery. As Amy traces Sylvie's footsteps across the world to the Netherlands, the country in which her sister was raised for the first few years of her life, she begins to uncover secrets and deceptions with far-reaching consequences for herself and her family, as well as discovering new potential and new abilities of her own.

    I particularly loved the delicate and nuanced depiction of the relationships between the two sisters, Sylvie and Amy, their mother, and their aunt and the questions this depiction raised for me about the faces we show to family and the parts of ourselves that we choose to -- or try to -- keep hidden from those we love.

    This is a novel which captures an entire world within its pages. It was an absolute joy to read!

  • Mary

    To be honest I didn't think I would love it as much as I did. I won it from a goodreads giveaway and felt like because I was sent it, I had to read it. I am so glad that I did though! Throughout the entire book it has you guessing and trying to solve the mystery. When it is actually revealed what happened, it makes sense. It isn't just a random thing thrown in last minute as a way to propel the plot. Jean Kwok laced the truth all throughout the novel. There isn't a hint of lazy writing. She defi

    To be honest I didn't think I would love it as much as I did. I won it from a goodreads giveaway and felt like because I was sent it, I had to read it. I am so glad that I did though! Throughout the entire book it has you guessing and trying to solve the mystery. When it is actually revealed what happened, it makes sense. It isn't just a random thing thrown in last minute as a way to propel the plot. Jean Kwok laced the truth all throughout the novel. There isn't a hint of lazy writing. She definitely did her research. I feel like I learned about Dutch culture without feeling like I was being taught a lesson. She is an amazing author and I need to get my hands on her other books! Some things I didn't like (although it didn't bother me enough to change my rating of 5/5) was how similar the voices of Amy and Sylvie are. Sometimes I couldn't tell whose perspective I was reading from so I had to turn back to the beginning of the chapter where it says. Also because they were such long chapters, it would have been nice to list whose perspective it was at the top of the page. Last thing was (it mught have just been my edition but) the text and spacing was really small so I got lost a lot and had to reread lines again. I would rather have it be a higher page count and bigger spacing between lines. But as I said before, these things weren't enough to make me change my rating. HIGHLY RECOMMEND! *comes out June 4*

  • Dorina

    This is the first book I have read by Jean Kwok and I am adding her to my must-read list!

    I was captured by the author’s art for telling a story. I fell right into it, feeling like I knew the characters and I so love that feeling. Sylvie and Amy captured my heart. As the plot was revealed, mysteries laid out for us, I just could not put the book down. I found myself yelling at characters (in my head), “Why are you doing this?” It is a story of immigrants, family, secrets, and love; plus how all t

    This is the first book I have read by Jean Kwok and I am adding her to my must-read list!

    I was captured by the author’s art for telling a story. I fell right into it, feeling like I knew the characters and I so love that feeling. Sylvie and Amy captured my heart. As the plot was revealed, mysteries laid out for us, I just could not put the book down. I found myself yelling at characters (in my head), “Why are you doing this?” It is a story of immigrants, family, secrets, and love; plus how all those tied together, however well intended, can have harmful consequences.

    I don’t want to reveal plot lines. I just want you to pick up this book, read and enjoy it. This truly was a lovely read.

  • Mary Ann

    Seldom does one book successfully weave together mystery, romance, domesticity, family, culture, and travel. Jean Kwok's novel Searching for Sylvie Lee is a delightful blend of beautifully written prose, characters who could live next door, and an intriguing missing person's case that will keep you reading late into the night.

    Sylvie Lee is the older sister to Amy, and Sylvie is, and always has been, the perfect and driven daughter, successful in her studies, relationship, and career. Until now.

    Seldom does one book successfully weave together mystery, romance, domesticity, family, culture, and travel. Jean Kwok's novel Searching for Sylvie Lee is a delightful blend of beautifully written prose, characters who could live next door, and an intriguing missing person's case that will keep you reading late into the night.

    Sylvie Lee is the older sister to Amy, and Sylvie is, and always has been, the perfect and driven daughter, successful in her studies, relationship, and career. Until now. Visiting her dying grandmother in the Netherlands where she had been raised for the first nine years of her life, Sylvie's tightly wound life unravels, yet she continues to try to hold up the facade as long as she can. Then word reaches, or dawns upon, Sylvie's parents and sister in the United States that Sylvie hasn't been seen or heard from for more days than expected. Her younger sister, who has never traveled internationally before sets off to solve the mystery of where her sister is. On the journey, long withheld family secrets begin to surface, adding layers of complexity to the search for Sylvie.

    And that, readers, is just the set-up for this deliciously complex tale. Told from multiple perspectives, filled with lyrical sentences that make you yearn for more, and characters with hearts and souls, this is not a book to be missed. Set partly in New York and mainly in a small town just outside of Amsterdam, the people are consistently in contrast to where they have landed due to their being immigrants from China who have relatively different levels of comfort and assimilation.

    "Nowadays, we all lived in a time boundary when emotion defeated logic, an era when gut feeling reigned over rationality. There was no patience for the difficult, the indecipherable, yet what else was the human heart but that?" (38-39). Yes, what else but that is the human heart. Though this is the first book I have read by this author, Kwok has touched my mind and heart with this timeless tale of turmoil, trouble, and transformation. Highly recommend this 5 out of 5 novel.

  • Patricia

    SEARCHING FOR SYLVIE LEE is a beautifully written novel that left me thinking of the problems facing immigrants or anyone who is trying to fit in. Told by two sisters and their mother, this book is about a heart breaking tragedy which occurs when family secrets are revealed. I highly recommend this book!

  • Marjorie

    Sylvie Lee is a successful, beautiful woman. Her younger sister, Amy, idolizes her. When news reaches them that their grandmother is dying in the Netherlands, Sylvie flies there to be with her. Sylvie grew up in the Netherlands. Her parents were too poor to take care of her when she was born and sent her to live with her grandmother and the Tan family. Sylvie didn’t return to the US and her parents until she was 9 years old. But now Sylvie has returned to the place she thinks of as home. But Amy

    Sylvie Lee is a successful, beautiful woman. Her younger sister, Amy, idolizes her. When news reaches them that their grandmother is dying in the Netherlands, Sylvie flies there to be with her. Sylvie grew up in the Netherlands. Her parents were too poor to take care of her when she was born and sent her to live with her grandmother and the Tan family. Sylvie didn’t return to the US and her parents until she was 9 years old. But now Sylvie has returned to the place she thinks of as home. But Amy and her parents become deeply upset when Sylvie disappears and they are unable to get any answers as to what happened. Shy Amy must find the courage to go find her sister. Her search for Sylvie uncovers long concealed family secrets.

    The book fluctuates between chapters detailing Amy’s search for Sylvie and Sylvie telling her story starting a month earlier when she leaves for the Netherlands and occasionally a chapter from their mother’s point of view. The character development in this book is very good and I cared about this family. The author does a particularly good job of detailing the cultural differences and problems this immigrant family faced and the racism shown to the Chinese in the Netherlands. But I was disappointed in some respects and felt parts of the books were too much like a soap opera. I did not feel that the ending rang true at all and it felt out of place to me.

    This book was given to me by the publisher in return for an honest review.

  • Diane S ☔

    It is so hard to figure out why a book will resonate so greatly with some, and not others. This book is a case in point, it has garnered some terrific reviews, but there were some plot points that were for me, not realistic. A young Chinese woman disappears after returning to the Netherlands, when the grandmother that helped raise her, was dying. Although her parents lived in the United States, Sylvie herself lived in the Netherlands for her first nine years. Her younger sister, Amy, who thinks

    It is so hard to figure out why a book will resonate so greatly with some, and not others. This book is a case in point, it has garnered some terrific reviews, but there were some plot points that were for me, not realistic. A young Chinese woman disappears after returning to the Netherlands, when the grandmother that helped raise her, was dying. Although her parents lived in the United States, Sylvie herself lived in the Netherlands for her first nine years. Her younger sister, Amy, who thinks Sylvie perfect, flies to the Netherlands to find out what happened to her sister.

    In alternating chapters we hear from Amy, Sylvie herself and their mother. Changing views of Sylvie are revealed from her own words. There are many family secrets, and a suspected hidden treasures passed down from mother to daughter. Jealousy, and its ill effects, an ugliness that spreads. The struggle for immigrants to assimilate. Yet, I had trouble connecting to the characters. We do find out what happened to Sylvie and why, though I didn't feel I was given enough reasons to find the ending credible.

    ARC from librarything.

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