Title: Little Fires Everywhere
Author: Celeste NG
Publisher: Penguin Press
Publication Date: September 12, 2017
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5
From Penguin: In 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.
My Review: Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a finished copy of Little Fires Everywhere in exchange for my honest review.
LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE exceeded my expectations in every possible way! Ng’s narrative and plot are top notch and the characters are heroic in their own right. I was 100% invested in this book from page one! I was every bit a part of Shaker Heights community as this brilliant cast of characters and personally woven into the family complexities brimming with every happy and heart breaking moment as I turned each page eager for more.
This is a story about family and community. Shaker Heights, Ohio is proud of its rules, lifelong residents and ordinariness. The Richardson’s are an upper class family who from the outside appear to have it all. Elena is a reporter and her husband an attorney. Their four children are typical, likeable kids. When newcomers Mia and Pearl Warren move into the Richardson’s rental house the family is instantly drawn to the mother and daughter. Mia is an artist who holds down a number of odd jobs to provide for Pearl. She is mysterious and wise and exudes compassion, empathy, courage – I completely and utterly adored her!
Elena and Mia find themselves on opposite sides of a custody battle involving Elena’s longtime friend and a poor immigrant mother. Shaker Heights is divided, damaging secrets are revealed and relationships strained. There are so many complexities woven into this story – an analysis of motherhood and family, vengeance, looking at a family through rose coloured glasses – so, so much intrigue!
I cannot recommend this book enough. It’s beautifully written and one I will hold onto forever and read again.