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Our Missing Hearts

ebook / ISBN-13: 9781408716908

Price: £20

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THE REESE WITHERSPOON BOOK CLUB PICK
THE PANDORA BOOK CLUB PICK
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

A hottest book of Autumn 2023 for THE TIMES, DAILY MAIL, THE INDEPENDENT, VOGUE, STYLIST, TIME MAGAZINE, EVENING STANDARD, THE I and THE IRISH MAIL ON SUNDAY.

‘It’s impossible not to be moved’ Stephen King, New York Times

‘Thought-provoking, heart-wrenching…I was so invested in the future of this mother and son, and I can’t wait to hear what you think of this deeply suspenseful story!’ Reese Witherspoon (Reese’s Book Club October ’22 Pick)

From the #1 bestselling author of Little Fires Everywhere, comes one of the most anticipated books of the year – the inspiring new novel about a mother’s unbreakable love in a world consumed by fear.

Twelve-year-old Bird Gardner lives a quiet existence with his loving but broken father, a former linguist who now shelves books in Harvard’s library. He knows not to ask too many questions, stand out too much, stray too far. For a decade, their lives have been governed by laws written to preserve ‘American culture’ in the wake of years of economic instability and violence. To keep the peace and restore prosperity, the authorities are now allowed to relocate children of dissidents, especially those of Asian origin, and libraries have been forced to remove books seen as unpatriotic – including the work of Bird’s mother, Margaret, a Chinese American poet who left the family when he was nine years old.

Bird has grown up disavowing his mother and her poems; he doesn’t know her work or what happened to her, and he knows he shouldn’t wonder. But when he receives a mysterious letter containing only a cryptic drawing, he is drawn into a quest to find her. His journey will take him through the many folktales she poured into his head as a child, through the ranks of an underground network of librarians, into the lives of the children who have been taken, and finally to New York, where a new act of defiance may be the beginning of much-needed change.

Our Missing Hearts is an old story made new, of the ways supposedly civilized communities can turn a blind eye to the most searing injustice. It’s a story about the power – and limitations – of art to create change in the world, the lessons and legacies we pass onto our children, and how any of us can survive a broken world with our hearts intact.

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Reviews

Ng, whose previous novels subtly probed tensions surrounding race,class, and gender, boldly tackles anti-Asian racism head-on
Time magazine, 100 Must-Read Books of 2022
Ng raises the bar another notch in a story intensified by reference to such police violence, political protest, book banning, and discrimination against people of color. VERDICT Ng's beautiful yet chilling tale will resonate with readers who enjoyed Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale and Jessamine Chan's more recent School for Good Mothers. As with her previous novels, her storytelling will not disappoint
Library Journal, starred review
Easily one of the most anticipated novels of the year!
Bookriot
Little Fires Everywhere became a global phenomenon and now author Celeste Ng is back with another gripping tale
Irish Mail on Sunday
Beautifully stirring and heart-wrenching, this powerful novel from the author of Little Fires Everywhere is a homage to love and will tug at your heartstrings
Heat, Book of the Month
A beautiful, thoughtful book...Brilliant and moving
Hello magazine
An eerie, prophetic novel...[that] showcases Ng's own ingenuity and range. Brilliantly envisioned and filled with Ng's signature tender, intimate character work and complex family dynamics, this coming-of-age story asks what it means to be a good parent or a good citizen when every child is at risk, as well as what power art has to challenge injustice
Shelf Awareness
Powerful and brilliant
Vogue
Celeste Ng imagines a terrifying dystopian future
Time magazine
Shot through with vivid color and rising hope, an unflinching yet life-affirming drama about the power of art and love to push back in dangerous times...Ng's brilliance lies in leaving the reader with an unshakable belief that against all odds, people will find the courage to resist, revolt, and defend . . . remarkable
Oprah Daily
Thought-provoking... My heart broke and was remade several times over by this book
Good Housekeeping
A book you won't be able to put down, nor stop thinking about long after you do...Ng's paragraphs are built with sentences so lovely and lyrical you likely will find yourself marking passages in every chapter to share with others
USA Today
Heart-wrenching and brilliant
Boston Globe
Remarkable and deeply moving... as moving as it is gripping. [Ng] is an astute writer...her writing feels gorgeously supple
The i
So much of this utterly stupendous tale is hauntingly, horrifically, historically, currently all too real...Yet Ng creates an exquisite story of unbreakable family bonds, lifesaving storytelling (and seemingly omniscient librarians!), brilliantly subversive art, and accidentally transformative activism. As lyrical as it is chilling, as astonishing as it is empathic, Our Missing Hearts arguably achieves literary perfection
Booklist, starred review
Riveting, tender, and timely
People, Book of the Week
Tense, poignant and chilling
Grazia
Ng's third novel is eagerly awaited and does not disappoint...Our Missing Hearts deftly weaves together a coming-of-age story with a threatening vision of a heavily censored future
Daily Express
Ng's compelling writing paints a picture of a world so real you can almost touch it. Despite the darkness of the story, the love of a family stands out.
Independent
Ng excels at narrative tension and at mustering readers' fear and outrage...Like George Orwell, Margaret Atwood, Kazuo Ishiguro and Octavia E. Butler, Ng pays close enough attention to write tomorrow's headlines
San Francisco Chronicle
On another level, Our Missing Hearts is a meditation on the sometimes accidental power of words... I won't give away the splendid conclusion of Ng's book; suffice it to say the climax deals with the power of words, the power of stories and the persistence of memory. It's impossible not to be moved by Margaret Miu's courage, or to applaud her craftiness
Stephen King, New York Times
A stunning story of injustice and resistance...Lyrical, intricate, unsparing: this novel will break your heart and fire up your courage
Mail on Sunday
Ng crafts an affecting family drama out of the chilling and charged atmosphere, and shines especially when offering testimony to the power of art and storytelling... Like Margaret's story, Ng's latest crackles and sizzles all the way to the end
Publishers Weekly, starred review
One of the biggest books of the year...deeply moving
Stylist
[Ng] has really hit her authorial stride in her eagerly anticipated third novel, Our Missing Hearts... It's her masterful weaving huge themes of race, class, privilege and identity with the simplicity of everyday lives that has made her a deserved international phenomenon
Daily Mirror
Celeste Ng's new novel, Our Missing Hearts, comes out this autumn and you can bet I will be cracking that spine open the second I get my hands on it. Ng is an auto-buy author for me. I can't wait to see what she's going to do next
Taylor Jenkins Reid, The Times
Instantly gripping and heartbreaking
Autumn's Best Blockbuster Reads, Evening Standard
[A] feat of meaty storytelling...Ng effortlessly combines a character-led family story with a detective tale, a tribute to books and storytelling and a confrontation with history...a story that is exceptionally powerful and scaldingly relevant
Observer
Ng's first two novels - her arresting debut, Everything I Never Told You (2014), and devastating follow-up, Little Fires Everywhere (2017) - provided an insightful, empathetic perspective on America as it is. Her equally sensitive, nuanced, and vividly drawn latest effort, set in a dystopian near future in which Asian Americans are regarded with scorn and mistrust by the government and their neighbors, offers a frightening portrait of what it might become... From the very first page of this thoroughly engrossing and deeply moving novel, Bird's story takes wing. Taut and terrifying, Ng's cautionary tale transports us into an American tomorrow that is all too easy to imagine - and persuasively posits that the antidotes to fear and suspicion are empathy and love
Kirkus starred review
The poetic prose captures the poignancy of the story which is both heartbreaking and hopeful
Buzz mag
Working in the tradition of The Handmaid's Tale and 1984, Our Missing Hearts is at its core a parable about the wages of fear, how it can lead to bigotry, racism and institutionalized hatred...The notion of the accidental warrior is one of the many generous and compassionate aspects of Ng's story - the idea that there is something brave in everyone - if only it can be reached
Washington Post
A lyrical and touching testimony to maternal love, it's also a salutary reminder of how easily freedoms can be lost and of the power of words to change lives
Daily Mail
Thought-provoking, heart-wrenching...I was so invested in the future of this mother and son, and I can't wait to hear what you think of this deeply suspenseful story!
Reese Witherspoon (Reese’s Book Club October ’22 Pick)
Terrific
Telegraph