Book Review: Little Fires Everywhere




Little Fires Everywhere by: Celeste Ng


Intricate characters and an unraveling story line, the Reader finds him/herself immersed into a town where rules are in place for control and its inhabitants “do not see race”. However, I found the novel took a while for the storyline to pick up and find a rhythm. The first half of the 330 page novel I actually considered closing the hardcover and not reopening it, however, as my love for literature is exposed, my commitment I could not fall short of.

The novel opens up to a home ablaze, and its family standing outside watching their memories smoke to the air and ash to the earth. Set in an upscale suburban 1990’s Shaker Heights, a town outside of Cleveland, the Richardson family seems to have it all. They have the successful jobs, big house, nice cars, four healthy teenage children living under the roof.

This is a direct contrast to the Warren family: a mother-daughter duo who live a modest, nomadic lifestyle. And soon, as fate would have it, the two families meet and from there, their worlds become quite different. As relationships develop and two different lives intertwine, the novel soon picks up pace and engulfs its reader.


Ng’s novel dapples with topics as complex as family relationships, people’s pasts, hidden secrets, interracial families and poses questions revolving around honesty, dignity and a mother’s love and her qualifications. It was a deeply thought provoking, character driven novel. Ng provides immense details and descriptions. Even when the storyline slowed down, her details transport the Reader to the exact moment and location in the novel. She paints a picture in the Reader’s mind-eye and provides a foundation that leaves you thinking even after closing the hardcover.



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