Searching for Sylvie Lee: A Novel (Hardcover)

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An Instant New York Times Bestseller!

A Read with Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick & Emma Roberts Belletrist Book Club Pick!

NAMED A MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK BY New York Times • Time • Marie Claire • Elle • Buzzfeed • Huffington Post • Good Housekeeping • The Week • Goodreads • New York Post • and many more!

“Powerful . . . A twisting tale of love, loss, and dark family secrets.”  — Paula Hawkins, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Girl on the Train and Into the Water

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 Translation

It begins with a mystery. Sylvie, the beautiful, brilliant, successful older daughter of the Lee family, flies to the Netherlands for one final visit with her dying grandmother—and then vanishes.

Amy, the sheltered baby of the Lee family, is too young to remember a time when her parents were newly immigrated and too poor to keep Sylvie. Seven years older, Sylvie was raised by a distant relative in a faraway, foreign place, and didn’t rejoin her family in America until age nine. Timid and shy, Amy has always looked up to her sister, the fierce and fearless protector who showered her with unconditional love.

But what happened to Sylvie? Amy and her parents are distraught and desperate for answers. Sylvie has always looked out for them. Now, it’s Amy’s turn to help. Terrified yet determined, Amy retraces her sister’s movements, flying to the last place Sylvie was seen. But instead of simple answers, she discovers something much more valuable: the truth. Sylvie, the golden girl, kept painful secrets . . . secrets that will reveal more about Amy’s complicated family—and herself—than she ever could have imagined.

A deeply moving story of family, secrets, identity, and longing, Searching for Sylvie Lee is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive portrait of an immigrant family. It is a profound exploration of the many ways culture and language can divide us and the impossibility of ever truly knowing someone—especially those we love.

“This is a true beach read! You can’t put it down!” – Jenna Bush Hager, Today Show Book Club Pick

About the Author


Jean Kwok is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of Girl in Translation and Mambo in Chinatown. Her work has been published in twenty countries and is taught in universities, colleges, and high schools across the world. She has been selected for numerous honors, including the American Library Association Alex Award, the Chinese American Librarians Association Best Book Award and the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award international shortlist. She received her bachelor's degree from Harvard University and earned an MFA from Columbia University. She is fluent in Chinese, Dutch, and English, and currently lives in the Netherlands.

Praise For…


“Like all most compelling mysteries, Jean Kwok’s Searching for Sylvie Lee has a powerful emotional drama at its heart. A twisting tale of love, loss and dark family secrets.”
Paula Hawkins, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Girl on the Train and Into the Water

“A satisfying hybrid of mystery and family drama.”
People

Searching for Sylvie Lee is riveting. A dazzling, talented woman disappears, leading her younger sister to search the Netherlands—and the past—for the truth. This novel is part mystery, part saga of an immigrant family.  It is both gripping and emotionally resonant on every page—a remarkable achievement.”
Scott Turow, New York Times bestselling author of Testimony

“Kwok’s story spans generations, continents and language barriers, combining old-fashioned Nancy Drew sleuthing with the warmth and heart we’ve come to expect from this gifted writer.”
New York Times Book Review

“I couldn’t help but continue to read to figure out where she was and what happened to her. You can’t put it down!”

Jenna Bush Hager, Today Show Book Club Pick

“Her book explores the mirage of the American Dream. Sylvie seems to have made it in every sense of the word, but Kwok’s story asks: What is the price of realizing this dream? And who must pay it?”
New York Times

“I was only about two-thirds of the way through Jean Kwok’s Searching For Sylvie Lee when I began telling everyone I know: “I’ve found this book, you need to read it.”... This is a story like no other.”
Marie Claire

“Piercing, inventive novel...”
O, The Oprah Magazine

 “A moving tale that, while billed as a mystery, transcends the genre….. This is a beautifully written story in which the author evokes the hard reality of being an immigrant and a woman in today’s world.”
Washington Post

Searching for Sylvie Lee is so much more than a globe-trotting suspense novel—it’s a moving portrait of the unintended consequences that stem from an immigrant family’s efforts to adapt, survive, and provide their children with a better future.”
Harper’s Bazaar
Product Details
ISBN: 9780062834300
ISBN-10: 0062834304
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: June 4th, 2019
Pages: 336
Language: English