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Everything in Shaker Heights is planned and there are rules that residents must follow. For example, houses can only be painted certain colors. When Mia Warren and her fifteen year old daughter, Pearl rent a home from the Richardson, a prominent Shaker Heights family – their lives will become intertwined in ways they never could have imagined. Mrs. Richardson liked to rent to people she felt were deserving of her help, people who may have had some tough turns in life. She felt it was her way of giving back. When she first meets Mia Warren and her daughter she thinks they are the perfect tenants. Mia is an artist and throughout Pearl’s life, they have been moving from place to place as Mia sells art. The Richardson family is immediately intrigued by them. Throughout the story, various stories are intertwined exploring how messy and complicated life is.. We see this story from Richardson family’s perspective, Mia’s perspective, Pearl’s perspective, and other characters.
There was a lot going on in “Little Fires Everywhere” but I found it easy to keep up. I will say that it had a bit of a slow start but I feel the author was setting the stage for all that was to come. And once I hit the halfway mark, I was so completely invested into all of their lives and had to know what was going to happen next. I thought that the development of the characters was fantastic. Even the secondary and tertiary characters were so detailed. With so many characters and a certain amount of pages, it takes skill to bring them all to life. This was an intriguing and compelling drama. A story about motherhood, adolescence, race, rules, right and wrong, and so much more. Great characters and an interesting plot made “Little Fires Everywhere” a fast and fantastic read.
Mia Warren, outre artist and Elena Richardson, uptight, society focussed, black and white re opinions about everything woman. How they live their lives and how their children are affected by their Mom’s decisions and behaviours. Good read.
I just got around to reading this last summer, so I do realize I am quite late, but I firmly believe Little Fires Everywhere is a masterpiece.
Ng’s gorgeous writing weaves these two families’ lives together so beautifully and expertly. By the climax of the novel, the Richardsons and the Warrens are so closely intertwined in every aspect of their lives, it is almost as if you can feel each thread slowly coming loose and leading to that conclusion. That being said, this story has a multitude of moving parts, which makes each character equally as fascinating as the next. Where with some novels this might become confusing for the reader, Ng does so in a way that utterly captivates you and leaves you right in the middle of this incredible web of characters. Little Fires Everywhere is both an amazing and heartbreaking exploration of class, privilege, and race in the Midwest.
I loved Little Fires Everywhere. It takes about a third of the book to build to the real plot point of the book, but I honestly didn’t care. Ng’s description of the characters and their lives have me truly fascinated. It could’ve been a road to nowhere and I would have gladly walked down it. Luckily it was not a road to nowhere. The discussion of race, family, life, and motherhood in particular were done in a way to make you both cringe and sympathize with each character. You walk away knowing nobody was fully right or wrong and that each one was trying to live their best/most authentic life from their point of view. I loved this book and will be recommending it to many people in the future.
It has to be hard for an author when your book is added to a celebrity's read list. There is so much pressure and so much hype just because a well-known person said it was great. I think the hype (and the wait list) on this novel was overdone. It was a fine novel but all the hype made me wanting it to be more powerful, and it just wasn't. At times there was depth but for the most part, I found it to be a bit immature. I preferred the parts of the story that focused on the adults rather than the storyline of the teenagers. On a more positive note, the focus of idolizing perfection and order was an interesting theme, and sometimes you have to just burn it all down and start over. I am glad I read book. It did not drag on at all for me, I just wanted a little more from it.
My least favorite book from Reese’s list. Very slow beginning. Took me 6 weeks to finish because it was so slow moving. Don’t waste your time on this one.
The book is wonderfully written. A joy to read.
The author, Celeste Ng, raised questions and cause readers to think deeper about the different needs and perspectives of people of diverse social economic status, ethnic background, professions, and personalities.
The interactions(or conflict, to be truthful) between parents and their teens in this book are very interesting. The arguments from different angles about cross-racial adoption are intriquing, too. I adore the author's effort in tackling so many social issues in this book! Last but not least, many friends said the book is better than the TV seires. I agree. You can find out for yourself!
celeste ng writes the themes of this book in such a unique way. she explores motherhood as well as the love that someone can have for their child in a distinct manner that made me connect to the characters on another level. i could not put this book down. the way that the characters grow around each other is insane and ng writes them in a way that you understand them more as you go through the book.
Story of mother and daughter who move into new town, connect with big family. Great book.
So so I wanted to like it but to me it was too superficial. Trendy maybe but artificial. Only 2 stars for this one.
A quick read that is enjoyable, but not quite as rave worthy as I thought it would be!
A wonderful book about how gossip and rumors spread, and that not everyone is exactly who you think they are. As the title implies, I felt like this story left several loose ends and didn't "wrap up" as nicely as my anxious self would have liked. I have not seen the tv show based on the book, however, now I would like to and see how they compare.
This is a fascinating slow paced tale about two very different families brought together by their children. The story revolves around casual racism in wealthy suburban Ohio, but the sometimes-tense relationships between family members is a huge part of the drama. The writing is excellent and the story is packed with realistic emotion. The book explores what it means to be a mother, and how mothers affect their daughters. While burning the cherished family home to the ground, this book reminds us that sometimes there are no perfect answers, even for those of us who follow all the right rules.
I loved LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE. The story makes use of one of my favorite plot devises, which is to fully bring to life the interconnectedness of human beings and how our actions ripple outward and have the potential to change others in unintended, but sometimes very significant ways. That life force, which changes those around us is never more apparent, or on display than in Ng's beautiful, deeply moving story LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE. This simple, far reaching human-charged energy carries the story and brings to life all of the Ng's characters, rendering them both realistic and relatable.
I grew up next door to a family much like the Richardson's. They were wealthy, fun, distracted, unconventional and extremely generous in opening their home and their hearts to the many neighborhood children and the friends of their own children. We came and went as we pleased, they fed us, took us skiing, camping, and always made us feel welcome, almost like a part of the family. Pearl and Mia have moved 40 times in Pearl's 15 years. When Pearl meets the Richardsons, she finds a kinship and stability, she never even knew she had been craving.
Even as Pearl becomes a fixture at the Richardson's, Izzy the Richardson's youngest child, the families black sheep, latches on to Pearl's Mom, Mia, with a ferocity no one but Mia can understand. All of the people in LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE are good people, just doing the best they can. When rigid ideas of right and wrong conflict, everything changes for both families, in a matter of hours. It may be true, that sometimes you don't know what you have until it's good and truly gone.
Don't pass on an opportunity to read this beautiful story. If you are tired of reading books with characters you can't stand, LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE is the antidote.
I expected to like this book more than I did, given all the positive reviews. I didn't think the plot line was well-constructed, and I felt much of it was implausible and unrealistic. Having said that, it's a quick read and a somewhat interesting story.
Really enjoyed this book. There is so much to think about: the fires in our life, what it means to be a mother, what is right vs what is wrong, class and race . . . so many layers. This book is deep! I also loved that it was about characters who are teens during the same time period when I was a teen. It brought back memories of what was going on in the world, TV shows that were popular at the time . . .
Little Fires Everywhere tells the story of the Richardsons; a wealthy, privileged, picture-perfect suburban family; and the Warrens, the exact opposite. The story takes place in Shaker Heights, a suburban community taken to the extreme where everything must be perfect. Now enter Mia and Pearl Warren, a single mother and her daughter who disrupt the peace and status quo that exists in Shaker. The main portion of the story explores the tumultuous relationship between Mia Warren and Elena Richardson, the matriarch of the Richardson household. However, an equally intriguing storyline is explored regarding the fate of an adoption of an American born Chinese baby by a white couple. While these premises seem simple at first, Ng fills the novels with twists and turns you could never expect and makes it near impossible to put the book down.
I can't stress enough how much I LOVED this book. To be honest, I think I am on my third or fourth reread of this book and I still discover new details every time. This novel makes you question your beliefs about motherhood and what determines right and wrong in such morally ambiguous situations. Furthermore, the story still captures the experience of a teenager growing up and the constant societal and peer pressure put on you to conform. The experiences of the children in the story make a beautiful story in itself. In reality, this novel is multiple stories stitched together and interwoven to create a book that is equally gripping, heart-breaking, and provocative. As I mentioned above, this story is filled with plot twists that you will never expect and will keep you at the very edge of your seat. Little Fires Everywhere is a must-read and I highly recommend it to everyone.
Rather than focusing entirely on what's to come next in its plot, Little Fires Everywhere places just as much emphasis on uncovering the past. (Technically, one could say that everything in the plot is in the past, since Ng introduces readers to the story at its end.) Yet, by "past", I'm referring to the histories of the characters--their backgrounds, childhoods, career journeys, or basically everything that has molded them into the people they are now. Ng strengthens the story with these anecdotes, allowing the readers to fully grasp the complexities of her characters and comprehend the reasoning behind their actions. By doing so, there is an ambiguity in which no character appears as completely good or bad, thus bringing light to the realistic intricacies of the story's topics, such as motherhood.
I also enjoyed how Ng highlights the massive influence of parenting on a child's life and beyond into adulthood. This idea is seen through the behaviors of the adults and the children in the story, and they can be distinguished as those who remain in the tight grasp of their upbringing, or those who eventually break free.
However, I ended up being slightly disappointed with the ending, as I was left wanting for more closure. The ending felt too abrupt, and I had incorrectly expected the children to have some sort of significant involvement in it. While I was a bit let down, I resorted to the conclusion that the author had purposely left the ending in this way. Like how Mia and Pearl abruptly left Shaker Heights, we, as the readers, similarly abandon this story comprised of the past to further stress the idea that only ashes remain, and that there is no resolution but for the characters to start anew.
A novel about hypocrisy, convenience and conviction that what is right for you just MUST be right for anyone else. But, sometimes, the ugly truth prevails... There are two heroines - one lives a convenient, straightforward life of middle class. Very soon she falls in the trap of believing that if you live "right", and under certain rules which are "generally known and respected", if you can defer wrong from right, nothing can happen to you or your beloved ones and you deserve anything your heart desires. The other one has a different, but much fuller life, and stirs established family conditions of the well-off first heroine. However, I did not like the end. The middle-class heroine, after a family disaster, suddenly starts to see through and decides to change. A heartbreaking, complex story.
Everything in Shaker Heights is planned and there are rules that residents must follow. Houses can only be painted certain colors (to ensure aesthetic harmony), garbage is never put out in front of the house, lawns must always be cut promptly, etc.
The city motto says it all:“Most communities just happen; the best are planned”
When Mia Warren and her fifteen year old daughter, Pearl rent a home from the Richardsons, a prominent Shaker Heights family – their lives will become intertwined in ways they never could have imagined.
Mrs. Richardson liked to rent to people she felt were deserving of her help, people who may have had some tough turns in life. She felt it was her way of giving back. When she first meets Mia Warren and her daughter she thinks they are the perfect tenants.
One of the Richardson boys, Moody is curious about the new tenants and heads over to the rental property. Moody and Pearl hit it off immediately. Moody who has never wanted for anything, is surprised at how this mother and daughter make their way. Mia can stretch a dollar (and leftover food) farther than anyone he’s ever seen. It’s not long before Moody brings Pearl home to meet everyone. Soon Pearl is spending much of her time at the Richardson home. At first, everything is fantastic. Mrs. Richardson even hires Mia to do some housekeeping and cooking at the Richardson home. But it won’t be long before the many differences between Mia and Mrs. Richardson cause a divide that will affect the two families in unimaginable ways.
At first, Mia came across as incredibly selfish but it wasn’t long before I loved her. Her caring ways were evident and how she responded to the different crises that came up endeared her to me. I may not have agreed with all of her choices but I could certainly see how she would have made them. Right off the bat I was irked by Mrs. Richardson (the fact that she was rarely referred to by her first name was fitting). Mrs. Richardson was the type who wanted to be seen as someone who cared and helped others. However, you could tell right away that she kept track of all the good things she had done. And you never knew when Mrs. Richardson would want a repayment of her “kindness”.
There was a lot going on in “Little Fires Everywhere” but I found it easy to keep up. I will say that it had a bit of a slow start but I feel the author was just setting the stage for all that was to come. And once I hit the halfway mark, I was so completely invested into all of their lives and HAD to know what was going to happen next.
Little Fires Everywhere is a psychological mystery- much too slow burning to call a thriller- set in the suburb of Shaker Heights, Cleveland, where conformity is highly prized. Family dynamics, secrets, betrayal, and class differences are key elements of this novel. My interest did start to wane partway through, and though there are plenty of quite vivid characters I just didn’t find many of them to be particularly likeable, nor did I understand the choices they made, which made for some frustrating reading; however the story strands were intriguing enough to pull me through.