Publication Date: September 12th, 2017
This review does not contain spoilers
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 principal 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.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I have yet to read this authors debut novel ‘Everything I Never Told You’, but I am definitely intrigued now. I loved the writing style, and I really enjoyed the perspective of Pearl the best. I also thought a few of the other characters were quite interesting as well. I thought the most enjoyable sections of the book were the ones about Pearl and the relationships she had been forming with each of the Richardson children. I also liked learning about Mia Warrens past, and just how different her life was compared to that of Elena Richardson.
To be honest, I was not a big fan of the sections discussing the adoption of the Chinese baby. At times I felt like I was reading 2 different stories within one story, and I had a hard time putting the pieces together and making sense as to why this section was even in there. I get that there was probably some type of ‘lesson’ to be learned from this..about what makes a person a good mother, and if wealth, race, or other factors play an importance, which it shouldn’t. Im just saying that I honestly would have enjoyed the story more so without it. I also think that there were a little too many coincidences between many of the characters and the plot that I think tied up the story too perfectly in the end. All in all though, I did enjoy this, and I rated it 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.