In her memoir, All You Can Ever Know, Chung writes with an empathy that's careful to consider the perspectives of everyone involved in her adoption story ... The detail is useful for the reader to understand that Chung's search will ultimately be successful, but the book is still paced like a mystery: the how and the when and the why of Chung's reunion is what drives the tale ... Chung's writing is never overtly sentimental, but it's crisp and clear and evocative ... Chung manages to make every moment she spent second-guessing her decision to search feel newly relevant ... Though the story is intensely personal, it's never myopic and, ultimately, it's universal.
The honesty with which Chung grapples with...racial erasure is a hallmark of her stunning debut memoir, a book that confronts enormous pain with precision, clarity, and grace ... in addition to being deeply thoughtful and moving, the book is a fiercely compelling page-turner ... what shines through this beautiful book is her clear-eyed compassion for all her relations, her powerful desire for connection, her bold pursuit of her own identity, and the sheer creative energy it took to build her own family tree, to 'discover and tell another kind of story.'
[Passing on this book would be a mistake,] Because beyond the specifics here – as unique, affecting, heartstring-pulling as this debut is – Nicole Chung’s All You Can Ever Know will resonate with any sensitive, thoughtful reader ... Raw, open, forthright, Chung’s personal odyssey is an intimate journey toward self-understanding and acceptance.