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Review: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Title: Little Fires Everywhere

Author: Celeste Ng
Year published: 2017
Category: Adult fiction
Pages: 336 pages
Rating: 4 out of 5

Location: (my 2024 Google Reading map)USA (Ohio)

SummaryIn Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned—from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors 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 teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.

When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town—and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides.  Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs.

Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, and the ferocious pull of motherhood—and the danger of believing that following the rules can avert disaster.

Review: How did it take me 7 years to read this book? I would have said it came out 2 or 3 years ago. I am so behind!

I liked this book, but didn't love it even though I know it was super hyped up when it came out. What I do like about it is the look into class, our inner turmoil, and the affect we have on others (both physically and emotionally). 

There are a number of characters, all of whom are flawed, but they all had value, care, and important relationships that propelled the book forward. I do like that they show how, though a town or family can look "perfect" from the outside, the inner workings often show another side: all the little fires.

Given all this good and interesting stuff about this novel, I will say that it felt a bit flat for me. I am not sure if it's the writing style or the plot. I was left wanting a bit more. Did you read this novel? What did you think of it?

Challenges for which this counts: 
  • Alphabet (Title)--L
  • Alphabet (Author)--N
  • Literary Escapes--Ohio

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