Lydia is dead, but no one knows this yet.
This is where the novel begins, and we watch as the Lees--a mixed race family that doesn't quite belong in 1970s Ohio--slowly falls apart. We learn about how the parents met, why the oldest son became so resentful of his family, how the youngest daughter hides from the world, and, of course, what really happened to Lydia. This is a complex character study of an entire family, and it's brilliantly executed, as well as deeply sad.
Recommended by Kim Anguish