Title: Little Fires Everywhere
Author: Celeste Ng
Published: September 12th, 2017
Genre: Contemporary, Fiction, Adult
Publisher: Penguin Press
Listened to on Overdrive
Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down.
In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colours of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.
Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than just tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the alluring mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past, and a disregard for the rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.
When the Richardsons’ friends attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town and puts Mia and Mrs. Richardson on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Mrs. Richardson becomes determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs to her own family – and Mia’s.
Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of long-held secrets and the ferocious pull of motherhood-and the danger of believing that planning and following the rules can avert disaster, or heartbreak.
Things I enjoyed about this book:
Little Fires Everywhere explored a variety of family dynamics. I found each one intriguing and impactful. Moving through the novel I felt like I was “earning” a piece of each of their stories, like I was a friend finally being let in on a secret. Celeste did a great job with her character development and the vast differences if how to be a mother. Another strong point was the setting, it made me want to go and visit Shaker Heights!
The Things I Didn’t Enjoy:
It was hard to keep characters straight until I hit my stride, so try to stick with it, you will catch on. There were points when some of the stories were a little too hard to far fetched. I also felt that this book should be marketed more as YA then Adult, it had more teen angst in it than I expected.
MRS BIRDS WORDS REVIEW
Celeste Ng deserves four out of five bird feathers. I was expecting this novel to be a page turner, but I felt like it was more a gradual unfolding of mother’s perspectives. I had an “aha” moment towards the end of the novel were I realized why this book was beautifully written. Celeste was able to capture all the different aspects of motherhood and bring light to them. Every mom and their experience as a mom is different. Motherhood comes to us in all different ways. If you haven’t read it, I would encourage you to look for all of the motherly figures throughout it! While the book was slow and steady, I did find it hard to get through it quickly. But maybe that was her intention, to make me stop and allow me time to think. Overall, I felt this was a good book and would recommend it!
It does have some swearing and talks about sex- I do think it is written more towards teens though rather than adults.