All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung

All You Can Ever Know

What does it mean to lose your roots—within your culture, within your family—and what happens when you find them?Nicole Chung was born severely premature, placed for adoption by her Korean parents, and raised by a white family in a sheltered Oregon town. From early childhood, she heard the story of her adoption as a comforting, prepackaged myth. She believed that her biological parents had made the ultimate sacrifice in the hopes of giving he...

Details All You Can Ever Know

TitleAll You Can Ever Know
Release DateOct 2nd, 2018
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Biography Memoir, Parenting, Adoption, Biography

Reviews All You Can Ever Know

  • Jessica Woodbury
    When I started thinking about how I was going to describe this book, the words that came to mind were the kind of words you'd read on a bottle of water: pure, clear, undiluted. Every time I read it it was like turning on a faucet of raw emotion, a view into the author's experience that was like looking through freshly-cleaned glass. Forgive me if I'm getting pulled into mixed metaphors, but when I tried to explain it these were the kinds of image...
  • Lupita Reads
    Five stars five stars! Because I can’t wait to read this!!!!!
  • Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
    I'm not usually big on memoirs but when presented with this copy to review, I couldn't say no. A beautifully poignant and emotionally filled memoir of a Korean girl adopted by white parents and facing racism and prejudice no one around her could understand. This journey of her finding her way and wanting to know about her biological family and the story behind it is moving and oh so real.I felt so much empathy when reading about Nicole's childhoo...
  • R.O. Kwon
    An urgent, incandescent exploration of what it can mean to love, and of who gets to belong, in an increasingly divided country. Nicole Chung's powerful All You Can Ever Know is necessary reading, a dazzling light to help lead the way during these times.
  • Vanessa Hua
    Powerful, deeply affecting memoir about love, longing, belonging, and family. An unforgettable debut.
  • Mike
    I knew this book was going to be great, but I did not expect that it would make me cry quite so quickly. (For the record, the first tears came on page 16.) What an amazingly honest, open, full-hearted story Nicole Chung has given us about adoption, about heritage, about self-understanding, about family, and how families are both made and inherited. I’m just so happy this book exists.
  • ak
    I’m biased but this book is amazing and heartful and I loved reading it.
  • Jason Diamond
    I think the point of a memoir is to not only tell an interesting story all the way through but to also teach the reader something. Lots of memoirs are filled with pages meant to do just that: fill the pages. Memoirs get a bad rep because people think they can write them, but they can't. The truth is that everybody has an interesting story they can share with the world and that readers will benefit from, but not many can fill up a hundred or two p...
  • Emily
    There's a lot of ink spilled in the lit-o-sphere over the courage it takes to tell your personal story, so much that it's a kind of cliche. Too bad! I'm going to say it: This story is brave. ALL YOU CAN EVER KNOW is a courageous, beautiful book that deserves all the accolades it's going to get. If you've encountered Nicole Chung's writing before, then you know what to expect. If you haven't read one of her essays before, you're in for a treat: Cl...
  • Joy
    "'s always a welcome relief to find myself in the company of other adopted people, because only we can understand what it means to grow up adopted."I loved this memoir, for its lovely writing, for its moving story, but most of all, because I could nod along in recognition at so much of it, even though Nicole Chung's story differs so much from my own. Those moments of recognition in literature are so rare for transracial adoptees, that when I...
  • Jessica
    Such a poignant and moving book, told in such a way that you'll end every page and stop to think about the way you view yourself, and others, and consider the way you live your life. Identity is something we all struggle with in one way or another and to read such an insightful story as Nicole Chung's is eye-opening and relatable. It's beautifully written and a story that needs to be heard.I'm looking forward to writing a full review of this book...
  • Chanda Prescod-weinstein
    This is a beautifully rendered meditation on what makes a person and what makes a family. The writing is exquisite and brimming with compassion. As someone who isn’t adopted, it helped me think productively about my own family. I highly recommend this for *all* readers who want to know the world better.
  • Isabel
    For anyone interested in the complexities of transracial adoption, identity, and family. I could not put this book down once I started it!
  • Angel
    Review to come--but this is an incredible book, and you should definitely pre-order it now.
  • Lara Blackman
    I loved this book - there's so much written about parenthood and family, but I've never read a story like Chung's, and it really did change my perspective. Beautifully written + a quick read!
  • Julie
    Eagerly anticipated 2018 read!!
  • Afoma Umesi
    I received a digital ARC from the publishers, Catapult. There has been so much buzz around this book and if you're wondering whether it's worth the hype, the answer is yes. Nicole Chung was born prematurely and thereafter placed for adoption by her Korean birth parents. She was then adopted and raised by a white family in a predominantly white Oregon town. ALL YOU CAN EVER KNOW is her journey to coming to terms with the realization that, despite ...
  • Sachi Argabright
    I know I keep saying this about the Asian American debuts I have read this year, but I LOVED this book!! Similar to Julayne Lee’s Not My White Savior, this book taught me so much about Korean adoption and the complex family dynamics in creates. I absolutely loved Nicole’s beautiful writing style, and flew through her story in a matter of days. With a balance of moments that will make you cry and also warm your heart, this book is something yo...
  • Andrea
    I love this book. Cried multiple times throughout it by accident.
  • Akila
    I won this book from Goodreads Giveaway, which I am now eternally grateful for because this memoir was absolutely fantastic. It was simple, clear, tangible, complicated, an entire vortex of powerful emotions that I was sucked into before realizing what had happened. Nicole Chung has done a wonderful job of showing the effects of a trans-racial adoption on a child, as well as her family and brought up some key points about culture and identity tha...
  • Mya
    The narrative of adoption and the many questions, emotions, and feelings of loss that can come with it are often glossed over for a happier and more optimistic story of a formed family’s happily ever after. In All You Can Ever Know, Nicole Chung describes and confronts her own experiences internalizing this mythologicization of her adoption story, how it impacted her childhood and struggles with racism, and ultimately how she has come to challe...
  • Rebecca Foster
    Nicole Chung was born premature to Korean shopkeepers who already had two daughters. This was 1981 Seattle, and her parents felt unequal to the challenge of raising a child who might have disabilities. They offered their baby up for adoption, and she was raised by white parents in Portland, Oregon. The whole time she was growing up, Chung felt like the only Asian around, and she experienced childhood bullying. Only when she visited the Seattle Ch...
  • Allison
    This memoir is absolutely stunning. Nicole Chung writes beautifully in a million shades of gray, with nuance, curiosity and so much compassion. This is her story growing up as an adopted Korean-American in a white family and a white community. What shocked and touched me was that she did not judge her white parents for raising her with a colorblind attitude (and thus leaving her vulnerable and unprepared to to the racist bullying she experienced ...
  • Mainlinebooker
    A very compelling memoir of a Korean adoptee of white parents trying to understand who she is and explore the world of adoption. Born premature, and growing up in a rural Western town where there were no other Koreans around she was always the "odd" girl out. As she became a mother, she was forced to question her identity and worked at finding out her birth story. She brought up so many questions that disprove the easy platitudes of being adopted...
  • Ryan
    All You Can Ever Know is a beautifully written memoir about the meaning of family. Written by an adoptee, the book travels from the birth of the author to her own experiences of motherhood. The journey is filled with symphonic shifts in the author's understanding of what it means to be an adoptee and Korean and a daughter and a mother. I very much enjoyed the self-reflective tone and steady pacing. I looked forward to the conclusion but did not w...
  • Colin
    I love this book so much.
  • Abby Johnson
    Nicole Chung was born to Korean-American parents and adopted by a white couple as an infant. Growing up she was surrounded by white people, never knowing anything about her heritage or culture and never seeing people that looked like her until she moved across the country to attend college. When she became pregnant with her first child, Chung decided to search for her birth parents, unsure what answers she wanted to hear but wanting to know more ...
  • Michelle
    I loved this memoir from start to finish. I envy the author's storytelling style, and her manner of looking at every situation from every possible angle. So very thorough and detailed and at the same time, having quite an emotional impact from being let into such a very personal story. I highly recommend reading this!
  • Dawn
    Beautiful, thoughtful, compelling.