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Book Review: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

This is my bookclub’s December pick – discussions to take place next week, look forward to hearing everyones’ point of views.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Genre: Fiction, Contemporary

BUG Rating: 3/5

Overall: I absolutely wanted to love this – but really didn’t. It took 150 pages to start to peak my interest, and even then when things got good, they were rapidly followed by a lull. It really pains me to write this! I really enjoyed Ng’s first book (Everything you never told me), so had high hopes for this one, but I just didn’t feel the same about this one. I didn’t connect, or love any of the characters – expect maybe on some level Mia. I am however, looking forward to watching the screen adaptation next year!

Sometimes you need to scorch everything to the ground, and start over. After the burning the soil is richer, and new things can grow. People are like that, too. They start over. They find a way.

Plot:

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.

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