Hi everyone! Happy Wednesday! We made it- halfway through the week- and through the hardest half . Today is my first book review blog post! I am going to incorporate my thoughts on books that I read on my blog, hereinafter known as dun-dun-duh: #OHLBookReviews.
I received the recently released, “Little Fires Everywhere,” as a Christmas gift and started it right away. I originally saw this book featured on @ReeseWitherspoon’s feed, and wanted to give it a read myself since everything Reese touches is gold, IMO. So, without further ado…
I read, “Little Fires Everywhere,” in probablyyy three evenings and likely could have read it faster but was trying to pace myself! This book is beautifully written and hard to put down. It takes place in Shaker Heights, Ohio (almost exactly where I grew up so extra- personal for me!) and the author Celeste Ng describes this area extremely accurately- almost viscerally, and paints a vivid picture of the town. It focuses on two different families, both of whom reside in Shaker Heights. One family who has been rooted in SH since the Village was laid out, and another who has yet to lay down roots anywhere and is just passing through- or so we think.
Celeste develops all of the characters so well, and I think you’d be hard-pressed to not relate to one of the main characters on some level. Whether that is Pearl, the young, bright daughter of the nomadic artist Mia, or Mrs. Richardson, the perfectly manicured matriarch of a Shaker Heights family rooted in tradition and nobility. Each character is developed in a multifaceted way such that I connected with several (if not all) of characters throughout.
Without giving too much away, the crux of the story involves race, morality, motherhood, and purpose. I was very invested in the characters themselves regardless of where the story went (and it does go to a dramatic and thrilling place) in my opinion. The writing around motherhood and family was particularly moving to me, and struck a chord deep in my heart. The teenage angst depicted in the halls of Shaker High brought me back to my middle and high school days- because honestly, who hasn’t felt like the “new kid,” at some point in their lives?
My only criticism is that the author Celeste builds up such a beautiful network of people and places, and the ending seems to come a bit too soon for me. I think more pages could have been dedicated to the conclusion and events that took place both prior to the ending, and afterwards as well. Perhaps a lack of complete clarity is what the author (and many writers) intended. Perhaps she wanted the readers to paint possibilities in our own minds, but to me it almost lacked good closure and seemed a bit forced after such a thoughtful and tense build up.
Overall, I would still recommend this book for an easy, exhilarating, and raw look at the ties that bind us all. The relationships that Ng builds are her strength. Hint: book pairs perfectly with a cup of tea or cocktail 😉.
If you’ve read this or have any suggestions- leave a comment below!