My book club decided to read Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. I’m glad I read it since Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington are turning it into a series on Hulu. But… I don’t know if I get the hype. I enjoyed it, but it’s nothing mind blowing. It probably doesn’t help that I kept comparing it to Big Little Lies, which I enjoyed a lot more. The two are getting compared a lot. Mostly, I imagine, because of Reese*, but they both are suburban mom stories that are well written, that also discuss the deeper and darker parts of our everyday lives. Which I find commendable. Great stories don’t have to be about huge things. I just liked Big Little Lies more. I think I like that it made me laugh while also think about the deep and the dark.
I’m going to be lazy here and copy and paste the Goodreads synopsis:
Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down.
In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colours of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.
Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than just tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the alluring mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past, and a disregard for the rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.
When the Richardsons’ friends attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town and puts Mia and Mrs. Richardson on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Mrs. Richardson becomes determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs to her own family – and Mia’s.
Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of long-held secrets and the ferocious pull of motherhood-and the danger of believing that planning and following the rules can avert disaster, or heartbreak.
I wish I had paid a bit more attention to the audiobook in the beginning, because so many things come full circle and I had to backtrack in the print book when finishing. Also, I was personally not a fan of the narrator. I’m sure that did not help my paying attention in the beginning.