I’ve talked before about my love for stories written about suburban settings. I love a family drama and if I can relate to any of the parents or children involved, all the better. I realise my reading has become a bit of a marketer’s dream recently. If I hear of an author mentioned more than a couple of times, I feel the need to explore. Somehow, though, I had managed to miss Celeste Ng (pronounced ‘ing’)’s first novel, Everything I Never Told You, which became a bestseller. When I was approached to take part in a book review of Ng’s second book, Little Fires Everywhere, there was something about it that just grabbed me.
I really didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did though. The timings admittedly were right for me – I was away for a few days with plenty of time to read, but quite honestly, I raced through this book.
The book starts at the Richardson house with the house burning to the ground (the clue is in the title, hey?) The thread throughout the book is definitely, how did the house get set on fire? Plenty of options for who could have done it thrown in for good measure. Mrs & Mrs Richardson have 4 teenage children, Lexie, Moody, Trip & Izzy (If I had a slight criticism it would be that their names felt slightly contrived). I really liked the relationships between the siblings and the differences (and similiaries) in their personalities. This felt like it could be a real family. Mrs Richardson is definitely the force behind the family dynamic with Mr Richardson only popping into the story periodically.
Unusually for me, I enjoyed the descriptions of the suburb, Shaker Heights that the story was set in. I’m not normally a huge fan of location descriptions but this was done with humour. It felt very Desperate Housewives.
The Richardsons have sublet their rental home to Mia, a single mother to her teenage daughter, Pearl. Right from the start, it is clear that Mia’s history is not an easy one. As the story progresses, we discover what has brought Mia & Pearl to Shaker Heights. For me, this is where the book was at its strongest. The incidental characters that Celeste Ng introduces are realistic and well thought out. I like books that appreciate that people do have more than just their immediate family members in their life.
This is a book that explores relationships, upbringings and friendships. I really loved it – Its not a classical masterpiece, just a really good story that you can escape to and lose yourself in for a few hours. The cover includes a quote from Jodi Picoult but I felt this was a more heartwarming story than most of hers.
What Others Thought Of The Book?
You can discover what other book bloggers thought of Little Fires Everywhere published by Little Brown as we are taking part in a book hop during November.
Little Fires Everywhere is currently available at Amazon at a reduced price of £11.99, click here (Contains an affiliated link. This won’t cost you any more but I may get a small return if you decide to buy)