Little Fires Everywhere – Book Review
Author: Celeste Ng
My rating: ★★★★★
Release Date: Published 12th September, 2017 by Penguin Press
Format: Paperback, 272 pages
What did I think?
A terrific story, well-written. Ng reminds me of Liane Moriarty in that way, and both Ng and Moriarty are easy to read – meaning their stories are not difficult to understand or relate to but they also have great plotting ability. I start reading and the pages themselves propel me through the ride.
When I began I did not know what to expect from the Little Fires Everywhere, though I had marked it to read based on a skim read of the blurb and I had been looking forward to it. I admit, while I try to make better choices, I get affected by a good cover and this book cover (a small pattern of roads with three teeny little suburban homes in green and blue) is A-mazing.
Ng developed interesting and likeable characters in Little Fires Everywhere. In some ways this book was personal for me because I could see aspects of myself in the two mothers, Mia and Mrs Richardson. I became invested emotionally and even felt judged by Mrs Richardson at one point, having cast myself momentarily as Mia. Mia and Mrs Richardson provided an interesting contrast, with Mia’s careful holding of secrets, lack of consumerism and that backstory! Then Mrs Richardson with her life plan, big house, big family, and her deep connection to the community, so ordered, so…. “right”. But the book was about so much more than just those two for Mia had a daughter, Pearl, and Mrs Richardson had four children Lexie, Trip, Moody and Izzy, then beyond that were friends of each family.
Each character felt very real. Each had their story. From Lexie’s bubbly, confidence, tinged with entitlement (and I never forgave her for using Pearl’s name at the clinic…grudge held), to Bebe’s raw desperation to be back with her child, to have one more chance, and then to Linda McCullough whose situation I felt for deeply but for whom I held some reservations regarding May Ling. I guess I was team Bebe, though I understand completely the situation wasn’t black and white…I wanted Bebe to have her child back but I also wanted Linda to have the child she’d always wanted – argh!
Ng captured beautifully the intricate connections between people, the way what we do and say affects others. I saw the book as being about our choices, about the grey areas, and also about judgements we make and the deeper issues of class and privilege and, of course, race.
I enjoyed this book immensely and I can’t wait to read Everything I Never Told You!
For more info: Goodreads – Or your local Library