Little Fires Everywhere
Celeste Ng Pages: 336 Published: 2017
The book: Shaker Heights is a quiet, progressive suburb of Cleveland, where everything looks picture perfect. Mia Warren, a bohemian single mother, moves into the neighborhood with her teenage daughter, Pearl. They’re different from their neighbors, who may not be as progressive as they like to think they are. Mia has a secret from her past and one neighbor is determined to know what it is.
Will the quiet life of the neighborhood be disrupted by the newcomers? What’s Mia’s secret?
You might like it because: Ng takes us beneath the veneer of suburban life, creating an intimate portrait of her characters and providing deep insights into what makes them tick.
What did other people say?
“Ng is a confident, talented writer, and it’s a pleasure to inhabit the lives of her characters and experience the rhythms of Shaker Heights through her clean, observant prose…” – Los Angeles Times
“Delectable and engrossing… A complex and compulsively readable suburban saga …This is a book that believes in the transformative powers of art and genuine kindness — and in the promise of new growth, even after devastation, even after everything has turned to ash.” – Boston Globe
Awards & Recognition:
Amazon’s Best Novel of 2017
NPR’s Best Book of the year (2017)
How quickly will you get into the book? Ng had me halfway down page one. From there I just kept reading.
You might not like it because: Many of the characters are not particularly likeable, so some readers might not feel vested enough in the outcome of this story.
If middle-class suburban dramas are not your thing, give this book a miss.
What might you read next?
In a New York Times interview, Ng was asked “Whose writing today most inspires you?” One of the writers she named was Rebecca Solnit. You could read her non-fiction book Savage Dreams.
Or read another novel set in Ohio, Sula, by Toni Morrison.
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