4/5 stars from me! I was really hoping this would be my first 5 star read of 2018 but it just didn’t get there from me, I think I set my hopes too high based on how many recommended this book to me. That being said, I really did enjoy this read. Part neighborhood drama, part time capsule; Celeste Ng managed to delicately weave in generations of stories for multiple characters and perfectly preserve and capture life in 90’s America. I loved that this book was really an examination of how one person’s choices can affect another’s and how so many people are a sum of their history and past experiences that we will never fully understand, the best we can do is try to be compassionate. I have learned to truly appreciate a book that can remind me to practice empathy and consider where other’s may be coming from while interacting in my own world. Little Fires Everywhere was captivating, relatable and well-written. I’d recommend picking this one up if you’re in a reading slump or need a fairly easy read that still has some substance!
Synopsis, via Goodreads:
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.