I feel like I keep saying the same thing about my 2019 reading progress but the truth is, I am still so proud of myself for the progress I am doing! Not only am I ahead of my goal for the year but I am really enjoying some great books and quiet time daily. Hello self-care. For my fifth book read for 2019 I picked up Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. I had heard such amazing things about this novel that it was one of the first things I asked for on my Christmas Wish List. This is one of my favorite books read for 2019 so far and I believe just like Small Great Things it should be a book that everyone reads.
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
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 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 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.
My Review of Little Fires Everywhere
Little Fires Everywhere was my first read by Celeste Ng, but I’m pretty sure that it won’t be my last. I could have easily have read this book in just one or two sittings but you know…LIFE. That being said, I found this book to be so enlightening and engaging. I found that I connected with a number of the characters and found myself living through the adults but also through the teenagers. Goodness those teenage years, seem so far gone but so close still.
I loved that the parents in this book allowed the teens to grow into themselves. While I wouldn’t consider them latchkey kids I did find that them having some personal freedom allowed them to explore and grow. Some of that growth made for some difficult decisions in the end but all were life lessons.
While the focus is on the teens I also found that both of the Mothers in this novel were super important to how the story was told. Neither live perfect lives, sometimes in fact they make grave mistakes, yet their love for their children never falters. These mothers relationships with each other, their family and everyone in town is threatened when a custody battle ensues between a friend of the Richardsons, Mrs. and Mr. McCullough, who are in the middle of adopting a Chinese American baby and a friend of Mia’s, Bebe, who is the birth mother. This battle wrecks havoc on the town and causes incredible strife between the families.
Now, for a deeper personal perspective, I am adopted, putting myself in the shoes of that baby really did toy my brain and heart a bit. I am forever thankful that my birth mom placed me for adoption and cannot imagine the fear an adoptive family would have of their newly adopted baby being taken from them. On the other hand, the unimaginable grief of leaving your child at a fire station because you cannot take care of them? Wow! Again, without going into too much detail…you MUST read this book.
I was so impressed with how Celeste Ng wrote this novel. I felt like I was sitting right there with each of the characters. Not to mention this is a really great look into the American white privilege. A truly captivating novel that is a must read in my opinion.
Book 5 was really great and perfect for the current climate in our society. And like I said, I believe it is a book that everyone should take a few days to dive into and let your perspective be challenged. Book 5 down! On to a great 2019 of reading! I am excited for this journey and goal once again and hope I find some great books to give you reviews on. I just started book 7 and it is fantastic. Cannot wait to share more.
Make sure you check out my reading list for 2019 that I have planned so far.
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