Today I am reviewing the book I was most excited to read this year
Little Fires Everywhere
Author: Celeste Ng
This is the story of two families - the Richardsons, who are a prominent family in Shaker Heights, Ohio. They have 4 children, a beautiful home, and a picture perfect life. The Warrens are a nomadic family that have moved continuously. Mia and her daughter Pearl have never stayed in a place long. Mia, an artist who barely scrapes by with the art she sells, picks up and moves when things get rough. She landed in Shaker Heights when Mrs. Richardson offered their small investment property to Mia to rent. In exchange Mia would work part time for the Richardsons so she had time for her photography.
Things are going well for a long time. Pearl becomes fast friends with the three eldest Richardson children - Lexie, Moody, and Trip. Izzy - the youngest Richardson child is broody and a family outcast who is shunned by her older siblings. But Mia and Izzy form a bond in the time that Mia works for the Richardson family feeling that Mia actually understands her. Pearl falls fast and hard for Trip.
When old family friends of the Richardson's attempt to adopt an abandoned Chinese baby, a custody battle erupts and divides the town and even divides the Richardson family. Secrets of the Richardson family and the Warren family start to surface during this time that will devastate both families.
I loved this book. Celeste Ng is a terrific writer. I didn't want to put this book down - finished it in a day and a half because there were so many twists and turns - I needed to see where it was going. What I love about Celeste Ng's books is that she starts with the ending. Meaning - she gives away the whole reason for the book right up front, and then works the character development. She did this in "Everything I Never Told You" and I found it so refreshing and different I hoped she would write more novels.
The only problem I had with this book was a little bit of the Chinese story. And that was only because that type of thing is person to me. We adopted a little boy from China 11 years ago, and I would never want people to think that he isn't "Chinese enough" because he is being raised by white parents. I think Celeste tried to be sensitive to adoptive parents, but it did give me a twinge none the less.
Grab this book and read it - and if you haven't read her other novel - read it first.
Stars: 4 1/2