Book club met recently to talk about Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. We liked it, but thought the ending was a bit weak.
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
Synopsis (an excerpt from Goodreads)
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.
Ng’s writing is deft and developed. It was intriguing to learn that the story is set in a real place with real rules and restrictions. Ng painted a clear picture of what a structured community, such as Shaker Heights, would be like.
We appreciated the insight into the teen relationships and friendships of the Richardson children and Pearl Warren. Their experiences were familiar and relatable.
Above and beyond anything else Ng’s character development was exceptional. It was easy to visualize and connect with the characters through her strong and well thought out descriptions. I knew Ng had done an incredible job when, after reading the book, I could name every character.
Although, for me, the book was slow to start, I was really into it in the end.
Little Fires Everywhere left a lot of unanswered questions, however there is good opportunity for a sequel. I’d love to know what becomes of the characters after Shaker Heights.
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.