Everything I Never Told You

Hannah Lee Character Analysis

Hannah is James and Marilyn’s youngest daughter. She is extremely quiet, so much so that sometimes her family forgets that she exists. She has a habit of stealing “treasures” that belong to members of her family and hiding them around the house. Although she doesn’t fully understand the events that take place around her, she is highly perceptive and is arguably the moral center of the novel.

Hannah Lee Quotes in Everything I Never Told You

The Everything I Never Told You quotes below are all either spoken by Hannah Lee or refer to Hannah Lee. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Appearances vs. Disappearances Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Books edition of Everything I Never Told You published in 2015.
Chapter 3 Quotes

Marilyn, unaware that her youngest is listening so closely, so longingly, blots her eyes and replaces the diaries on the shelf and makes herself a promise. She will figure out what happened to Lydia. She will find out who is responsible. She will find out what went wrong.

Related Characters: Lydia Lee, Marilyn Lee, Hannah Lee
Page Number: 76
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 4 Quotes

Three photo albums of Marilyn and not a single shot of her mother. As if

her mother had never been there. Was she sad? How could she miss her mother when her mother was nowhere to be found?

And then, in the kitchen, she discovered her mother's Betty Crocker cookbook, the spine cracking and mended, twice, with Scotch tape. On the first page of the cookie section, a deliberate line in the margin of the introduction, the kind she herself had made in college to mark an important

passage. It was no recipe. Always cookies in the cookie jar! the

paragraph read. Is there a happier symbol of a friendly house? That

was all. Her mother had felt the need to highlight this.

Related Characters: Marilyn Lee, Hannah Lee
Related Symbols: The Betty Crocker Cookbook
Page Number: 82
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 8 Quotes

It happened so quickly that if she were a different person, Hannah might have wondered if she'd imagined it. No one else saw. Nath was still turned away; Lydia had her eyes shut now against the sun. But the moment flashed lightning-bright to Hannah. Years of yearning had made her sensitive, the way a starving dog twitches its nostrils at the faintest scent of food. She could not mistake it. She recognized it at once: love, one-way deep adoration that bounced off and did not bounce back; careful, quiet love that didn't care and went on anyway. It was too familiar to be surprising. Something deep inside her stretched out and curled around Jack like a shawl, but he didn't notice.

Related Characters: Lydia Lee, Nath Lee, Hannah Lee, Jack Wolff
Page Number: 211
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 12 Quotes

What made something precious? Losing it and finding it. All those times he'd pretended to lose her. He sinks down on the carpet, dizzy with loss.

Then he feels small arms curling round his neck, the warmth of a small body leaning against him.

Related Characters: Lydia Lee, James Lee, Hannah Lee
Page Number: 280
Explanation and Analysis:
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Hannah Lee Character Timeline in Everything I Never Told You

The timeline below shows where the character Hannah Lee appears in Everything I Never Told You. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Appearances vs. Disappearances Theme Icon
Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
Loneliness, Exclusion, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Expectations, Ambition, and Disappointment Theme Icon
...already on the way to work. At home, Lydia’s brother Nath yawns, and Lydia’s sister Hannah remarks that Lydia is slow to come downstairs. Marilyn goes up to look in Lydia’s... (full context)
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Secrets, Lies, and Silence Theme Icon
Loneliness, Exclusion, and Prejudice Theme Icon
...last week Lydia failed her driver’s test. It is now 7:30 in the morning and Hannah asks if they should still go to school. Marilyn instructs Nath to drive them there,... (full context)
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Secrets, Lies, and Silence Theme Icon
Loneliness, Exclusion, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Downstairs, Hannah shows the policeman a photo from the past Christmas. Lydia was in a bad mood... (full context)
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Secrets, Lies, and Silence Theme Icon
Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
Loneliness, Exclusion, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Expectations, Ambition, and Disappointment Theme Icon
...friends on the list, but none of them have any idea where Lydia might be. Hannah sits under the table and touches Nath’s toe with her own, but he doesn’t react.... (full context)
Appearances vs. Disappearances Theme Icon
Secrets, Lies, and Silence Theme Icon
Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
Loneliness, Exclusion, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Expectations, Ambition, and Disappointment Theme Icon
...he’d asked Lydia how the past few days had been and she’d barely replied. Meanwhile, Hannah is reading The Sound and the Fury, which she’d stolen from Lydia a few weeks... (full context)
Appearances vs. Disappearances Theme Icon
Loneliness, Exclusion, and Prejudice Theme Icon
On Wednesday morning, James calls Officer Fiske again, but there is no news. Hannah and Nath stay home from school, but the family finds it difficult to do anything—watch... (full context)
Chapter 3
Appearances vs. Disappearances Theme Icon
Secrets, Lies, and Silence Theme Icon
Expectations, Ambition, and Disappointment Theme Icon
...the cemetery, Marilyn turns her head to avoid looking at the lake, and Nath and Hannah wonder if she will do this for the rest of her life. (full context)
Appearances vs. Disappearances Theme Icon
Secrets, Lies, and Silence Theme Icon
Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
Loneliness, Exclusion, and Prejudice Theme Icon
...do not attend church, the funeral is led by a minister who reads a psalm. Hannah refuses to look at the coffin; she knows that Lydia’s body is in there, but... (full context)
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Secrets, Lies, and Silence Theme Icon
Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
Loneliness, Exclusion, and Prejudice Theme Icon
...Lydia’s death, but James is dismissive, telling his son to leave it to the police. Hannah tries to hold Marilyn’s hand for the second time during the funeral, but she is... (full context)
Secrets, Lies, and Silence Theme Icon
Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
Loneliness, Exclusion, and Prejudice Theme Icon
James angrily tells Nath that he is driving Marilyn and Hannah home, and that when Nath has calmed down he should walk. Secretly, James wishes to... (full context)
Appearances vs. Disappearances Theme Icon
Secrets, Lies, and Silence Theme Icon
Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
Loneliness, Exclusion, and Prejudice Theme Icon
...walks home and immediately goes up to his bedroom, purposefully avoiding his family. Marilyn and Hannah are also in their rooms. After the funeral, James is tempted to lie with his... (full context)
Appearances vs. Disappearances Theme Icon
Secrets, Lies, and Silence Theme Icon
Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
Loneliness, Exclusion, and Prejudice Theme Icon
...car. Back at home, Nath continues to stare at Jack’s house through the window, and Hannah replays the events of the day in her mind. She wraps her arms around herself,... (full context)
Chapter 4
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Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
Expectations, Ambition, and Disappointment Theme Icon
Back when Lydia is five and Hannah is not yet born, Middlewood College has a Christmas party that Marilyn is reluctant to... (full context)
Chapter 5
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Secrets, Lies, and Silence Theme Icon
Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
During Hannah’s life, the Lees have never discussed Marilyn’s disappearance, and thus Hannah has no idea that... (full context)
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Secrets, Lies, and Silence Theme Icon
Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
Loneliness, Exclusion, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Expectations, Ambition, and Disappointment Theme Icon
Back at home, Hannah goes into Lydia’s room and retrieves a broken silver locket. She has promised Lydia she... (full context)
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Secrets, Lies, and Silence Theme Icon
Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
Loneliness, Exclusion, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Expectations, Ambition, and Disappointment Theme Icon
...death. James accuses her of being “hysterical” as a result of watching the news. Meanwhile, Hannah slips under the kitchen table, alarmed by hearing her parents fight for the first time.... (full context)
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Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
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Expectations, Ambition, and Disappointment Theme Icon
Without verbally agreeing to do so, both Nath and Hannah head to the lake. Meanwhile, James circles the lake in his car, replaying Marilyn’s words... (full context)
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Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
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Hannah tries to stop her brother from approaching Jack, and, though Nath resists, she eventually drags... (full context)
Chapter 7
Appearances vs. Disappearances Theme Icon
Secrets, Lies, and Silence Theme Icon
Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
Expectations, Ambition, and Disappointment Theme Icon
...to the school dances and enrolling in college-level science classes while suppressing her true feelings. Hannah is quiet, forgotten about from the moment she joins the family. (full context)
Secrets, Lies, and Silence Theme Icon
Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
Expectations, Ambition, and Disappointment Theme Icon
...is flooded with relief to see that he has been admitted. He smiles up at Hannah, telling her that he got in. James enters, puts a hand on his son’s shoulder... (full context)
Chapter 8
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Secrets, Lies, and Silence Theme Icon
Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
Loneliness, Exclusion, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Back home, Marilyn tells Nath and Hannah that the police have ruled Lydia’s death a suicide. Nath calls Officer Fiske and urges... (full context)
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Secrets, Lies, and Silence Theme Icon
Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
Loneliness, Exclusion, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Hannah is so familiar with unrequited love that she immediately recognized Jack’s desire for Nath. Unsure... (full context)
Chapter 9
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Secrets, Lies, and Silence Theme Icon
Expectations, Ambition, and Disappointment Theme Icon
Back home, Marilyn and Hannah prepare to surprise Lydia with an elaborate cake in the shape of a driver’s license.... (full context)
Chapter 10
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On his way out, James passes Nath and Hannah, but says nothing to them. After James leaves, Nath grabs his car keys and, in... (full context)
Chapter 11
Appearances vs. Disappearances Theme Icon
Expectations, Ambition, and Disappointment Theme Icon
...as he rushes out the door, but the weekend passes and he doesn’t call. Meanwhile, Hannah follows Lydia around, suggesting things for them to do together. On Sunday afternoon, Hannah suggests... (full context)
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...so has Lydia—she wants to hurt him, the same impulse that caused her to slap Hannah. (full context)
Chapter 12
Appearances vs. Disappearances Theme Icon
Secrets, Lies, and Silence Theme Icon
Loneliness, Exclusion, and Prejudice Theme Icon
...driveway, and he fears that she has run away again. In the house, he finds Hannah sitting alone, her eyes red from tears. Hannah explains that Marilyn is upstairs sleeping and... (full context)
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When Marilyn comes downstairs, she finds James cradling Hannah, and remarks “you’re home.” James repeats that he is home. Marilyn kisses Hannah goodnight, and... (full context)
Appearances vs. Disappearances Theme Icon
Secrets, Lies, and Silence Theme Icon
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...out after Jack. As he darts out of the front door and toward the lake, Hannah follows him, shouting that Jack is not to blame. Nath yells at Jack that he... (full context)
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...only guess what was inside Lydia’s mind and never know for sure. Both Jack and Hannah are peering into the water, and he can see Jack’s hands stretched out toward him.... (full context)