So, when I heard this book was being turned into a show starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, I knew it was one I needed to read ASAP! And I'm so glad I picked it up because it was amazing! But, more on that later!
If you want to know why I do a weekly book review, check that out here!
So, with no more ado, here's my review of Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng!
Little Fires Everywhere begins when Mia Warren, and her teen-aged daughter Pearl, move to the suburban neighborhood of Shaker Heights. Mia, an artist, usually lives a nomadic life with Pearl, but they attempt to put down roots in Shaker Heights. Pearl soon friends the Richardson children: Lexie, Trip, Moody, and black-sheep Izzy. Mia takes a part-time job at a local Chinese joint.
There she meets Bebe Chow, who recently abandoned her daughter at a fire station.
Mia realizes the Richardson's neighbors took in a Chinese little girl, and figures out she's Bebe's baby.
Bebe attempts to see the baby but is refused. She soon decides to sue for custody.
Mrs. Richardson, realizing Mia and Bebe are friends, blames Mia for the lawsuit and the pain it's causing her neighbor. Mrs. Richardson begins to snoop into Mia's past. But while she's snooping, her daughter Lexie finds out she's pregnant, and takes Pearl with her to get an abortion. Mia lets Lexie spend a few days with them.
Izzy, the youngest Richardson, begins working with Mia on her art, and soon becomes infatuated with Mia and her lifestyle.
While snooping, Mrs. Richardson finds out that Mia moved to New York at 18, and having run out of money for her art school, agreed to be a surrogate for a rich family.
But, with the baby being made with Mia's egg, she is unable to give the baby away. She tells the family she had a miscarriage, and runs away to California where she later gave birth to Pearl.
As the trial is winding down, and it looks like Bebe will get custody, Mrs. Ruchardson looks for other evidence against her. She thinks Bebe may have been pregnant, and goes to the Clinic to check. There she sees Pearl's name listed under women who had had treatments. even without more evidence, custody is given to the neighbors, instead of Bebe. Mrs. Richardson confronts Mia about Pearl and tells them they need to leave. The following morning, Izzy runs away to be with Mia and Pearl, but not before burning down the Richardson's home.
I loved every page of this book! This was the first book of Ng's I've read, and I really enjoyed it. I found her style refreshing, and the plot original. Her style was conversational but never boring. I found the plot really interesting! It was different than the others I've read this year. There were quite a few twists and turns, a few of which I didn't see coming! I love when a book manages to surprise me!
I thought the characters where very well developed. Each character is flushed out, and given their own chances to shine and grow and develop. I obviously rooted for Mia and Pearl, but by the end I was sympathetic to Mrs. Richardson. Ng did a good job of giving her some redeeming qualities because she is generally a not good person throughout the novel. I think Ng gave all the characters a good chance to grow. No one ended the novel the same as they started.
I liked the juxtaposition of all the drama, and artsy, nomadic Mia, against the orderly background of Shaker Heights. I think that perfect Stepford-style neighborhood was the perfect setting for this novel. These big dramatic moments got to play out against this pristine backdrop, and I think it was the perfect setting.
There is honestly not anything I would change in this novel. I think Little Fires Everywhere is basically perfect! I'm giving it an enthusiastic 5 out of 5!