Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng is a slow-paced book that brings the reader into the personal lives of its characters. Mia Warren and her daughter Pearl have arrived at Shaker Heights, the ideal, perfect community. They rent the upper floor of a rental home from the Robinsons.
Mia and Pearl have lived a nomadic life, traveling from place to place for Mia to finish a creative photography project. They have been everywhere. But now, Mia has promised Pearl that they will finally stay in Shaker Heights.
Moody, the youngest son of the Robinsons, helps Pearl through her first days at the high school. Their relationship is the perfect, innocent friendship of high school years and Pearl is looking forward to staying one spot for a long time. Pearl spends most of her time at the Robinson’s house, watching TV after school and slowly becoming part of their family.
Mia has taken a part time job at a Chinese take-out restaurant to support them during their stay in Shaker Heights. In her free time, Mia takes photographs and edits them in a way that leaves the viewer touched. Her pieces are quite famous and fetch a large value of money in New York.
Through a series of events, the whole community of Shaker Heights is divided. A Chinese baby is about to be adopted by one of the wealthy families, but the mother has come up and desperately wants her baby back. The town is struggling with what the right choice is for the little baby.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Robinson is doing some investigative journalism and discovers more about the Warrens.
Little Fires Everywhere is a book that slowly looks into each character. It’s one of those books that you don’t mind being slow. But about 200 pages in, I was ready for some action to really pick up the plot.
The writing is well done and the story itself is compelling. I think the book is widely popular due to the social issues it covers, mainly family issues. Never have I read a book that covers so much between two covers.
For me, the ending is unsatisfying. I’m still thinking about it and if the conclusion to the conflict was the right choice. But then again, if the ending was the opposite, I would still be unsatisfied with it. It really brought me to think and ponder what happened.
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng gets 3.5 stars.
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