Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Book Review: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

In the suburban community of Shaker Heights, the Richardson house is up in flames following suspected arson. The youngest of the family is thought to be the culprit…

"All her life, she had learned that passion, like fire, was a dangerous thing. It went so easily out of control."

The main reason why I really loved this book is also why I am a big fan of Jodi Picoult. Questions are raised which do not have a right or wrong answer – a lot of scenarios are morally ambiguous. They are also the kind of questions and scenarios that will stick with you long after you have finished the book. What makes a mother? Is it being the one who gives birth to the child, who is the mother biologically? Or is it caring for and raising a child in a loving home, where they are provided for? I still haven’t decided where I fall in this morally grey situation.

Celeste Ng’s writing is simply gorgeous, I will definitely be picking up her debut book at some point. Her prose is rich in descriptions and beautifully constructed, yet just so readable at the same time. Ng tackles a number of important issues in Little Fires Everywhere, such as motherhood, abortion and identity, all of which are explored in really thought-provoking ways.

Ng expertly handles all the entanglements and relationships between these two families, as well as managing to bring the side characters to life so vividly. The standout character for me was Mia – on her initial introduction into the story she is shrouded in mystery, her backstory is murky and seems a little suspicious… but as Ng unravels the layers of Mia, I became a huge fan. I also love how Ng incorporated art into the storyline through Mia, some of the descriptions were stunning! I really enjoyed how seemingly separate storylines were all woven together so intricately. 

It did take me a while to get into it initially (which is why I deducted half a star), but when I did, it became impossible to put down. She has created a number of characters that I will think about long after finishing the book – and that’s always a winner for me.

Highly recommend if you enjoy Picoult’s books or if you like family drama. 

4.5 stars.


1 comment :

  1. I just finished this and was a huge fan! I don't know if you've seen the movie Pleasentville, but it had a the same vibe to me (very nostalgic in my case). I also enjoyed how well Ng described Mia's art and all the intense questions that were used to push this story line. I felt a deep sadness for Pearl and Izzy in the end and I would love to know where their stories go.


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