• Rachel Penate

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

“Everyone sees race, Lex," said Moody. "The only difference is who pretends not to.”


SUMMARY: "In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors 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 teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia's past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs.

Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, and the ferocious pull of motherhood and the danger of believing that following the rules can avert disaster." (Adapted from Goodreads)

REVIEW: So, I've been sitting on this review for a little over a month now because I'm legitimately at a loss for words... From themes on class disparity to racial discrimination to white privilege to the futile pursuit of perfection within motherhood, Little Fires Everywhere is brilliant in every way.

Celeste Ng's writing quickly transported me to the interior chaos of Shaker Heights and interior insanity of Elena Richardson's head. And, along the way I fell in love with Mia and Pearl and grew in compassion for Izzy. Ng's ability to weave in issues of systemic bias excellently lays the foundation for conversation regarding how these biases appear to benefit one another but instead, effectively and simultaneously destroy one.

If you are a fan of character-driven literary punches to the gut, I highly, highly, highly recommend this powerful little book!

SENSITIVITY WARNINGS: language, drug and alcohol use, self-harm, depression, gaslighting, and infant loss... (Honestly, there is probably more, but these are the big ones I can remember right now. So sorry friends!)

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