Our Missing Hearts, by Celeste Ng

Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I was immensely looking forward to reading Celeste Ng’s new novel “Our Missing Hearts”. I really enjoyed both Ng’s “Everything I Never Told You” and “Little Fires Everywhere” for their highly interesting stories, the unusual style of Ng’s storytelling and her sheer eloquence.

Sadly, I found none of this in “Our Missing Hearts”: Bird, the boy we’re immediately introduced to and who dominates the first half of the book, remains bland and indistinct. Beyond general empathy for him having lost his mother and living under difficult circumstances with his father, I never really felt for him or got emotionally engaged.

For a dystopia, there’s also nothing new or special in this novel: Hatred against what seems to be “foreign”, xenophobia. Books aren’t burned in this society but removed and made into pulp. Children are taken from their parents if the latter don’t intend to raise them by the doctrines of the regime.

There’s nothing new here and no original thought seems to have occurred to Ng. She also abandoned her unique onion-like narrative style and her prose is just adequate but absolutely nothing special anymore.

I’m giving up on this book while being around half-way through because going on feels like a waste of precious reading time. Even more so since trusted “book friends” tell me it’s getting even worse later on.

I hope Celeste Ng finds her way back to the heights of her earlier works.

A very sad and disappointed one star out of five.

Ceterum censeo Putin esse delendam

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