Book Review: "Everything Here Is Beautiful" by Mira T. Lee

" Two sisters: Miranda, the older, responsible one, always her younger sister's protector; Lucia, the vibrant, headstrong, unconventional one, whose impulses are huge and, often, life-changing. When their mother dies and Lucia starts to hear voices, it's Miranda who must fight for the help her sister needs — even as Lucia refuses to be defined by any doctor's diagnosis. 

Determined, impetuous, she plows ahead, marrying a big-hearted Israeli only to leave him, suddenly, to have a baby with a young Latino immigrant. She will move with her new family to Ecuador, but the bitter constant remains: she cannot escape her own mental illness. Lucia lives life on a grand scale, until inevitably, she crashes to earth. And then Miranda must decide, again, whether or not to step in — but this time, Lucia may not want to be saved. The bonds of sisterly devotion stretch across oceans, but what does it take to break them?

Told from alternating perspectives, Everything Here Is Beautiful is, at its core, a heart-wrenching family drama about relationships and tough choices — how much we're willing to sacrifice for the ones we love, and when it's time to let go and save ourselves."             Goodreads blurb

I have no words to describe how touched I was by this story. At its core, it`s a beautiful story about how mental illness affects the lives of everyone, not just the ones that suffer from it. But to put this book in just a category would be wrong. "Everything Here Is Beautiful" is a multi-layered novel that also touches subjects like immigration, poverty and class. It has unique and fully-fleshed characters, that come together in the most unexpected ways. 

Lucia was a complex character, and sometimes it was infuriating reading the chapters from her point of view. Because she`s clearly sick, and you want her to get help. But as her sister Miranda observes at the end of the book, how can you tell anyone how to live their life? Right or wrong, it`s their decision. When she wasn`t erratic, Lucia was one of the sweetest people you could meet. She was full of life, and she was always considerate of others. That`s why it felt heartbreaking to read the chapters when Lucia`s illness takes over. As the story progresses, it`s becoming harder and harder to draw the line between the person and the illness, and I think the author did an amazing job of conveying that.

Miranda, on the other hand, was harder to read. She`s calculated and pragmatic. But her devotion to her sister knows no boundaries. Again, I felt conflicted because, on one hand, love and family bond knows no limit. But I also wanted Miranda to live her life, to stop putting everything on hold because of her sister. 

As for the men in Lucia`s life, they couldn`t be more different. I found Yonah sweet and reliable, although I wished he understood more of Lucia`s illness. In that way, I think that Manny handled the situation better. What I loved about Manny was his devotion to his family and especially his daughter, Essy. As an illegal immigrant, he lived in a constant state of fear, and I must say, it was somewhat eye-opening to read his chapters. 

Although this book deals with many important topics, I would say that its main theme is love. All of these characters, with such different backgrounds, they`re united by the love they have for each other. Family plays a big part in the story, but one of the things that impressed me the most was Miranda`s relationship with Yonah, founded on their unyielding love for Lucia. 

Definitely one of the best books I`ve read in a while, 5/5 stars. 


  1. Wow this has an amazing cover. Great review!

  2. This is new to me and sounds like a great book. I need to add it. Great review!!