Culture Street

Books

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

On December 11, 2017

By Sophia Whitfield
From bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, this is an intriguing novel about the way families interact and the secrets that lie beneath the most respectable families in a community.

The Richardson family live in Shaker Heights, a suburb in Ohio. It is a planned city with everything neatly laid out. The middle-class occupants are all well respected and little ruffles the feathers of this urban community.

The Richardson’s have four children, three of them are high achievers and their mother Elena delights in sharing her children’s achievements. But Izzy is an anomaly Elena fails to understand.

When Mia Warren, an artist and single mother, arrives in the community to rent the Richardson’s rental property, Shaker Heights is suddenly in the grip of a media storm. Pearl, Mia’s teenage daughter, latches on to the Richardson children, and Mia accepts a job at their home cooking and cleaning to keep a closer eye on her own daughter who often spends her afternoons at the Richardson home.

But Mia has a mysterious past. She moves from place to place never staying too long in one location. When friends of the Richardson family attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle ensues. Elena has her suspicions that Mia is behind the natural mother’s attempt to gain back custody. With her journalist background Elena digs deeper into Mia’s life finding a murky past.

Little Fires Everywhere explores motherhood from three distinct perspectives. It is a fascinating read. Definitely one to put on your reading list. You can buy the book here in Australia and here in the UK.

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