Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
Book Group 1 – June 2020
Set in idyllic planned community, Shaker Heights, Ohio, USA Little Fires Everywhere tells the story of Elena Richardson, a woman who thrives on structure and rules, and her family. When Mia Warren, an artist who has been living a nomadic lifestyle as a single mother with her daughter, Pearl, arrives in town, it threatens everything that Mrs. Richardson has known. Slowly, Mia becomes the enemy of Mrs. Richardson. Meanwhile, in another part of town, close friends of the Richardson’s have adopted a Chinese-American baby, which results in a custody battle. When a fire breaks out in the Richardson home, the town is buzzing with their ideas on who the suspect is.
We had a small group discussion via Zoom on this book, which nonetheless lived up to the lively Friday morning book club standards! In general most were puzzled as to why the book was so widely praised and lauded as one of Reese Witherspoon’s top picks in her book club. We felt in general the author followed a pattern and kept pages and chapters to publisher’s likings and by doing this some plot lines were just dropped or not finished completely. There were also many story lines going on - maybe too many. It was also commented that this strayed a bit from the internal theme of our book club to keep to Southeast Asian literature.