Alexandra's Books

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

August 21, 2021

Little Fires Everywhere

At first glance, I had thought this would be one of my favourite books of the year. I’m fond of family drama stories so this sounded like an excellent read for me.

Now, I am feeling so conflicted by this book 😬

To set the scene a little, the book takes place in one of America’s first planned communities - Shaker Heights, Ohio. While the community seems to be planned to a tee and the characters we are introduced to early in the story seem to have perfect lives, we know from the very beginnings that there’s trouble in paradise.

This whole story was beautifully written and so well crafted - it boiled down to the question of what makes someone a (good) mother. For some, the answer was clearly biology, while for others love was far more important. This idea is very cleverly explored over three interweaving storylines which all tie together in the end perfect.

It was clear that crafting certain characters and making them feel exceptionally real was so important to the author, and I really felt like I connected with the characters of Mia and Pearl. I just wish that the author had put a little more of that craft and thought into the Richardson children - who felt more like they simply fit the many stereotypes of American high schools (popular, jock, nerd, outcast) and I felt myself viewing as rather one-dimensional. Even their parents, whose motivations didn’t seem to quite make sense - especially those of Mrs Richardson, who was awfully - felt like they were filler characters to sit around the outside of the main stories.

I still really loved this book, but I don’t think it quite lived up to my expectations.


Written by Alexandra

Visit my bookstagram