What We Kept to Ourselves

Nancy Jooyoun Kim
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This timely and surprising novel about a family’s search for answers following the disappearance of their mother from the New York Times bestselling author Nancy Jooyoun Kim explores “immigration, identity, love, and loss. A gorgeous, thrilling read” (Jean Kwok, New York Times bestselling author).

1999: The Kim family is struggling to move on after their mother, Sunny, vanished a year ago. Sixty-one-year-old John Kim feels more isolated from his grown children than ever before. But one evening, their fragile lives are further upended when John finds the body of a stranger in the backyard, carrying a letter to Sunny, leaving the family with more questions than ever.

1977: Sunny is pregnant and has just moved to Los Angeles from Korea with her aloof and often-absent husband. America is not turning out the way she had dreamed it to be, and the loneliness and isolation are 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 but their very lives at risk.

Both “an intricately crafted mystery and a heart-wrenching family saga” (Michelle Min Sterling, New York Times bestselling author), What We Kept to Ourselves masterfully explores what it means to dream in America.