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Little Fires Everywhere

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Little Fires Everywhere

September 2017

Celeste Ng is someone who I have wanted to read for a while. Her debut novel, EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU, has been on my shelf since it was published, and I am kicking myself that I did not read it sooner; colleagues and readers love her. Thus, when LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE came across my desk, I was eager not to let this one pass me by. It’s set in the planned community of Shaker Heights, Ohio, a place Celeste knows well, as she grew up there.

Mia Warren, an artist who is a single mother, moves to this town with her teenage daughter, Pearl, and rents a home from the Richardsons, who epitomize the ordered perfect lifestyle that one expects in Shaker Heights. Mia does not fit the Shaker norm. She lives day to day focusing more on her art than living a secure life. Pearl becomes transfixed by the Richardson family. Their wealth and seemingly perfect lives are ones that Pearl wants for their security, and Mia loves feeling that this time they will be settling down. She spends her afternoons at the Richardsons, moving into relationships with each of the four Richardson kids. Mia longs to know who her dad is; her mother never has told her. In the Richardsons, she finds a family.

Something clearly is getting set up to happen to all of these women right from the start, as when the book opens, the Richardson home is on fire. 

LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE is character-driven and emotional. It does not move quickly, but at the same time, I did not want to look away from the page! There is a lot to think about, including a storyline that is the catalyst for strain between these two families that involves a baby of Chinese-American dissent and her adoptive parents that I will not go into here, lest I spoil your own exploration of this story.

In a book group? There is so much to discuss here. For those who have read Lisa See and Jamie Ford, this is a book to read next.

Little Fires Everywhere
by Celeste Ng

  • Publication Date: September 12, 2017
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Press
  • ISBN-10: 0735224293
  • ISBN-13: 9780735224292