Searching for Sylvie Lee by Jean Kwok

Searching for Sylvie Lee

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 TranslationIt begins with a mystery. Sylvie, the beautiful, brilliant, successful older daughter of the Lee family, flies to the Netherlands...

Details Searching for Sylvie Lee

TitleSearching for Sylvie Lee
Release DateJun 4th, 2019
PublisherWilliam Morrow
GenreFiction, Mystery, Contemporary, Thriller, Mystery Thriller, Adult

Reviews Searching for Sylvie Lee

  • Jean Kwok
    I'm so thankful for your interest in SEARCHING FOR SYLVIE LEE, which was an instant NYT bestseller and chosen as The Today Show Book Club Pick! Check out the recent NYT article (, plus there's an excerpt ( and a book club guide with discussion questions and recipes ( Thank you all so much for taking the time to read and rate. I hope very much that you like it and I am so gratefu...
  • Diane S ☔
    It is so hard to figure out why a book will resonate so greatly with some, and not others. This book is a case in point, it has garnered some terrific reviews, but there were some plot points that were for me, not realistic. A young Chinese woman disappears after returning to the Netherlands, when the grandmother that helped raise her, was dying. Although her parents lived in the United States, Sylvie herself lived in the Netherlands for her firs...
  • Nilufer Ozmekik
    Four full, surprising , heartbreaking ,mysterious ,twisty, tearful stars! A real well written novel questions so many important issues from immigrant problems to partly racism, discrimination, from devoted love-hate sisterhood relationships to childhood crush, from inequality between men and women at work places to a husband’s betrayal and abuse!!! It’s a real gripping story, told by two sisters and mother! As soon as we read mother’s part,...
  • Bkwmlee
    I’m between 3.5 and 4 stars on this one so I’ll round up.This was a compelling story about a Chinese immigrant family and the struggles they go through to create a life for themselves in a new country where, despite their best efforts, they never truly feel that they belong. Sylvie Lee is the beautiful and successful older daughter who was sent off to live with her grandmother and her cousin’s family in the Netherlands when she was only a f...
  • Katrina
    I found Searching for Sylvie Lee an enthralling, thought-provoking and emotional read. This book combines gorgeous, literary prose with a powerfully suspenseful plot. As the characters navigate multiple languages and cultures, and the web of relationships that holds them together grows more complex, the novel's insights about family, culture, gender and love rise to the surface, surprising and delighting the reader. The book begins as Amy discove...
  • Tucker
    Many thanks to William Morrow for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review The heart of another is a dark forest, always, no matter how close it has been to one's own. -Willa Cather Searching For Sylvie Lee is more of a family drama than a thriller. While it did have its unsettling scenes, I felt that this novel went deeper into family and siblings than the mystery itself. Though it was, in my opinion, marketed incorrectly, it was sti...
  • DeAnn
    4 complicated family relationship starsThis complex book is chronicled by two sisters – Amy and Sylvie – and their mother. I hardly know how to start to explain this one. This Chinese immigrant family has ties to the Netherlands and New York. Sylvie was raised by her grandmother and other relatives in the Netherlands before she is reunited with her parents in New York at age 9. She never quite feels at home anywhere and has developed a beauti...
  • Marjorie
    Sylvie Lee is a successful, beautiful woman. Her younger sister, Amy, idolizes her. When news reaches them that their grandmother is dying in the Netherlands, Sylvie flies there to be with her. Sylvie grew up in the Netherlands. Her parents were too poor to take care of her when she was born and sent her to live with her grandmother and the Tan family. Sylvie didn’t return to the US and her parents until she was 9 years old. But now Sylvie has ...
  • Patricia
    SEARCHING FOR SYLVIE LEE is a beautifully written novel that left me thinking of the problems facing immigrants or anyone who is trying to fit in. Told by two sisters and their mother, this book is about a heart breaking tragedy which occurs when family secrets are revealed. I highly recommend this book!
  • Linda
    Kudos to Jenna Bush Hager for picking another winner! This book is beautifully written, I felt I knew each character well, there was definitely a connection. The setting is the Netherlands, and Jean Kwok’s description of the environment and culture gave me the experience of being there. The author does an excellent job of making you aware of some of the many problems immigrants face, I will think on this in the future! There are many twists and...
  • Jenna Friebel
    Jean Kwok has created another wonderful novel. Family saga, culture, secrets, suspense... and ultimately, heartbreaking.
  • BookGypsy
    A story about a Chinese Immigrant family. Two sisters Sylvie and Amy and their mother. When the oldest daughter travels to the Netherlands to visit her dying Grandmother she vanishes. The younest Amy doesn't remember her parents newly immigrated and not able to care for Sylvie who they sent to a distant relative to raise. Sylvie didn't return to her parents until she was nine. As Amy searches for clues and reasons why Sylvie vanished she uncovers...
  • Brooke
    Jean Kwok does it again with Searching for Sylvie Lee. This captivating novel shares the story of a family dealing with unraveling a mystery. Sisters Sylvie and Amy have many differences but share an abiding love. When Sylvie goes missing in the Netherlands, it’s her sister who will do anything to find her.Kwok navigates cultures and narrative perspectives deftly in this novel. There’s unique balance in this book between suspense and story. I...
  • Jessica Woodbury
    I love a domestic drama and I love a multi-perspective one even more. Until the last third or so this was very much right in my wheelhouse. I suspect the things that dropped it down a star for me may not matter that much to other readers. (Or maybe they'll matter even more! Who's to say?) I particularly enjoy a domestic drama that takes me to a new place with interesting characters. This book definitely delivered. The Lee family is more complicat...
  • Mary Ann
    Seldom does one book successfully weave together mystery, romance, domesticity, family, culture, and travel. Jean Kwok's novel Searching for Sylvie Lee is a delightful blend of beautifully written prose, characters who could live next door, and an intriguing missing person's case that will keep you reading late into the night. Sylvie Lee is the older sister to Amy, and Sylvie is, and always has been, the perfect and driven daughter, successful in...
  • Julia Phillips
    SEARCHING FOR SYLVIE LEE made my pulse race and my heart ache. The novel is a thrilling mystery. What a joy to be, as a reader, in the hands of a brilliant, confident writer, who's taking me twist by twist along a path where I can't predict what's coming next. That's my favorite, favorite feeling to have. As I kept turning the pages and getting closer to the end, I kept trying to imagine what the conclusion could be, but when it came, it was tota...
  • Dorina
    This is the first book I have read by Jean Kwok and I am adding her to my must-read list!I was captured by the author’s art for telling a story. I fell right into it, feeling like I knew the characters and I so love that feeling. Sylvie and Amy captured my heart. As the plot was revealed, mysteries laid out for us, I just could not put the book down. I found myself yelling at characters (in my head), “Why are you doing this?” It is a story ...
  • Nicholle
    Love, love books with differing perspectives of the same story. Many authors are not adept at writing alternating chapters in different voices, but Jean Kwok most certainly is. ---Extreme Book Nerd Challenge - A book published this year
  • Jennifer Blankfein
    I absolutely loved Searching for Sylvie Lee, the engrossing new fiction novel by Jean Kwok, the author of Girl in Translation. Not only is is written with great description of the Netherlands, NY and Venice, but the build up to an unsolved mystery is addictive and compelling. At the end of many of the chapters I had to catch my breath! Full review to come on
  • Mary
    To be honest I didn't think I would love it as much as I did. I won it from a goodreads giveaway and felt like because I was sent it, I had to read it. I am so glad that I did though! Throughout the entire book it has you guessing and trying to solve the mystery. When it is actually revealed what happened, it makes sense. It isn't just a random thing thrown in last minute as a way to propel the plot. Jean Kwok laced the truth all throughout the n...
  • Kathleen Keenan
    Only once in awhile do you find a book that turns out to be one of your very favorite books you've ever read! Well, this is now one of mine. It is so beautifully written and Jean Kwok crafted the story so wonderfully! I learned so much about Chinese culture, the Netherlands, and music. The characters were so interesting and the story was very emotional and thought-provoking. It made me think a lot about the stereotypes we place on different cultu...
  • Joan
    This is the best book I have read in quite awhile. It is not confusing to read in spite of covering many themes all at once. The characters are wonderfully described. It is involving multicultures, multi sexuality, multi traditional and many other different ways and does so clearly and respectfully. I wish the book did not have to end. The countries described and scenery even kept me enthralled. A must read mystery.
  • Sari Wilson
    I loved this novel! Jean Kwok’s luminous new novel Searching for Sylvie Lee is so propulsive and readable and also so surprising. It has the driving suspense of a psychological thriller, sharp revelations of character of a literary novel, and big themes (a profound exploration of an immigrant family’s search for identity and belonging in an increasingly global world). Sylvie Lee is a heady, haunting mix of Gone Girl and The Joy Luck Club. An ...
  • Shannon
    Thank you to William Morrow for the Advanced Reader’s Edition of Searching for Sylvia Lee by Jean Kwok. Paula Hawkins describes it perfectly: “A twisting tale of love, loss and dark family secrets.” I just finished it tonight and it’s a book that will stay with me for quite a while. Very well written, relatable characters and it kept me guessing right up until the end. I look forward to going back and reading Jean Kwok’s previous work
  • Cari
    I loved this book so much. Watch for official review to appear in Booklist. :-D
  • Elena L.
    SEARCHING FOR SYLVIE LEE is a suspenseful emotional drama that brings us the saga of three women (two sisters and their mother) in a Chinese immigrant family. Beginning with mystery, Sylvie - the successful older daughter of the Lee family- flies to Netherlands to visit her dying grandmother for the last time and then she disappears. The book gives us a good portrait of the hard lives of an immigrant family by exploring themes such as family, sec...
  • Megan BG
    Wow! I'm so glad I won this from Goodreads because this was great! It's like Where'd You Go, Bernadette (without the humor), Gone Girl, and The Woman in Cabin 10 rolled into one. I highly recommend this one!The way you get to see different points of view on the same subject is great. So many things are misinterpreted and without those other views, you wouldn't get the full story.
  • Wendie Barney boucher
    I received a free copy of this novel for an honest review. While I don't typically enjoy novels that are told from multiple perspectives I thoroughly enjoyed this book. There was also the added layer of bouncing between different times, while it was only about a month this was an added layer to the story that at first I was unsure if I would like. However the book exceeded my expectations. I found the characters relatable and endearing. The story...
  • Christine
    This is a tour de force exploration of how our identity and our background entwine to form who we are and who we aren’t. This is a page-turner that twists and turns toward an explosive ending!