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Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Updated: Sep 15, 2023

Hey, you! We had our Book Club session this evening and I had a lot of fun! I like the little group that we have formed with real-life friends and new-found friends. It’s very chill, actually. Everyone is free to say whatever they want to say with no judgment.

For the month of April, we read the book, Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng.

Here’s what you can find on Goodreads about the book:

Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down.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.

Like its title, this book was made of little fires everywhere. Interesting little fires. Four different mothers, social status, contrasting mother-daughter relationships, angst, and … It was an easy read and I went through it quite quickly. I think I connected to the story because I am a mother myself. This book reminded me that no mother is perfect.

Like I mentioned earlier, there were many little plots that could have been interesting to deal with. Unfortunately, I felt like nothing came out of it. Like it was given a short drift, you know. Some parts were left unanswered and that was quite frustrating. And the ending? Someone has to explain how that came to be. I feel like the author could have gone deeper instead of staying at the surface of things.

“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

I don’t know about you, but it feels like running away. Is the soil really richer after it burns?? Are we stronger after we’ve been to hell?

xoxo Elodie

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