Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5


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:

Little Fires Everywhere tackled so many subjects in just the space of just one book. In one family there is the white mother, Elena, who is a stickler for the rules. She conforms to what society expects of her. And she expects her family to fall in line with those same expectations. Then there is the black mother, Mia. She is an artist. She’s more free – with her time, her expectations and with her rules for her daughter.

With these two families interacting in this book there is obviously going to be some great reading. Each mother tries to parent the other’s child (because obviously she can do it so much better) – and you can only imagine the fireworks this leads to.

I did enjoy the book a lot. The reason I just couldn’t give it 5 ⭐s is because it felt like the last part of the book was just put in for extra drama. And honestly, would a father let his wife and 3 kids treat his youngest daughter the way they did? Especially when he knew the reason behind his wife’s treatment. This was such a popular book so I’m curious what you’re thoughts are on Little Fires Everywhere.

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