Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng – Book Review

Genres: Novel, Domestic, Fiction
Interesting rating: Quite
Star rating: 3½ out of 5 stars
Would I recommend it? Yes

I’ve seen Celeste Ng’s (pronounced ing) Little Fires Everywhere, well… Everywhere. So eventually curiosity got the better of me and I bought it. It was a good read.

Now a Hulu original series starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington.

THE STORY

Mia and her daughter Pearl are wanderers. But when they move to the progressive suburb of Shaker Heights in Cleveland, they decide to stay for good. Mia is an artist by trade and money is scarce. But they can afford the apartment because the owner, Mrs Richardson, rents it out for a reasonable price. The Richardsons is an affluent family. Success is important to them and everything must be just so. Soon the lives of these two families are intertwined. When a baby girl is put up for adoption, Mia and Mrs Richardson are on opposite ends. As things develop and they get to know each other better, what secrets will come to light?

To say I love this book is an understatement. It’s a deep psychological mystery about the power of motherhood, the intensity of teenage love, and the danger of perfection. It moved me to tears.

Reese Witherspoon

BOOK REVIEW

Where the Crawdads Sing is still my favourite read of 2020. Little Fires Everywhere is a good read too. To me, it starts out as an ordinary story of rich people (The Richardsons) doing rich people things and poorer people (Mia and Pearl) trying to make ends meet. But I’m glad I kept reading. Because soon, intrigue starts to build as it becomes clear that Mia’s past is worth exploring and that teenage romances are increasingly intricate.

The adoption case of Mirabelle McCullough (a.k.a. May Ling Chow) brings another interesting dimension. I enjoyed seeing things from both mother’s perspectives. On the case and the rest of the narrative.

The first part is told in present day. Then follows an account of Mia’s childhood and what led her to where she is today. She’s the most interesting character, by far. The other characters colour in the rest of the story.

Rule-following and privilege are some of the themes being explored.

Do I recommend Little Fires Everywhere? I do.

3½ out of 5 stars

Publisher: Abacus, an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group
Year: 2018 | Pages: 388
ISBN: 978-0-349-14292-0

Buy it here

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