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.
“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.”
Celeste Ng, Little Fires Everywhere
Ng is an amazing, brilliant and talented writer! After reading her first novel, Everything I Never Told You, I became an instant fan. So when I started reading Little Fires Everywhere, and could not (and did not) put it down, I was not surprised. I finished it in one sitting and found myself completely immersed in the Richardson family, and Mia and Pearl’s lives. Her detailed writing made me feel as if I was a part of the Shaker Heights community. With Little Fires Everywhere, Ng delivers a scandalous story, which is constantly moving and full of complicated, yet well developed characters. I also appreciated how Ng gives readers different perspectives on heavy-duty issues such as surrogacy, adoption, and abortion. I found myself on both sides of the fence more than once throughout the novel. If you are looking for a book that will give you lots to discuss/debate about, look no further and you’re welcome!
Shout out to Edelweiss and Penguin Press for providing me with an arc of the book in exchange for an honest review. It was a true pleasure to read – oh and the book was so good I bought myself a copy! 🙂