Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng was the September book pick for Reese Witherspoon’s book club, and just like the others that I have read, it did not disappoint! It might not have been one that I would normally read, but I trust Reese, and she was right. I could not put it down. I had heard that people really loved it, so I couldn’t wait to start it.
Little Fires Everywhere follows two families – the seemingly perfect Richardson family and their rental house tenants. They all live in the wealthy community of Shaker Heights near Cleveland, Ohio, where the community was perfectly planned.
The book begins with the fire at the Richardsons’ house, and it is presumed the fire was set by Izzy, the youngest daughter who is unpredictable and also missing that morning. Then it goes back to the year before, when Mia, an artist and single mother, and her teenage daughter Pearl move into the Richardsons’ rental house, changing the lives of all of the Richardsons.
The Richardsons live in a large house with their four children – Lexie, Trip, Moody and Izzy. They follow the rules and lead very normal, predictable, stable lives. Mia and Pearl are the complete opposites. They never staying in one place for too long, sometimes sleeping in their car, and are free spirits. Mia picks up jobs where she can to help make ends meet while she is creating her art, which is her real work.
The Richardson children are all drawn to Mia and Pearl for different reasons, and their lives become intertwined. Pearl spends every afternoon with the Richardson kids, while Mia cleans house and cooks for them. Izzy helps Mia with her art in the afternoons after school, and feels Mia is the first person to understand her.
Little Fires Everywhere focuses on the secrets we keep, the power of the love between mothers and their children, and the choices that we make that shape our lives.
I could not put this down. It was SO good and really different. It really makes you think. And now I can’t wait to read Celeste Ng’s first book Everything I Never Told You.
Have you read Little Fires Everywhere? If so, what did you think? If not, I highly recommend it!