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“Little Fires Everywhere” by Celeste Ng – Book Review

INDEX

  1. The Plot
  2. What I liked about this book ?
  3. My favourite character
  4. Lines from the book that I love
  5. My Reading Journey
  6. Ratings

So guys, I am back with another book review. However before you proceed, beware of spoilers.

There are a lot many spoilers that might ruin your reading experience if you haven’t read this book yet. However you can skip to the plot and ratings if you hate spoilers.

Happy reading.

book cover

Author: Celeste Ng

Publisher: Penguin Press

No. of pages: 352

Author Bio:

Celeste Ng is an American writer and novelist. She is widely known for her debut novel ‘Everything I have never told you’ that was the Amazon Book of the year in 2014. Later she went on to write ‘Little Fires Everywhere’ that was a huge success.

How did I come to read it?

This is my first time with Celeste Ng. And all I know for now is, it won’t be my last. Little Fires Everywhere is the Goodreads Choice Awards 2017 in the fiction category. I had heard so many great things about this author and this book that I had to order this book. And I am glad that I did.

The Plot

In the meticulously planned, designed to a fault posh suburb called Shaker Heights, things change, when Mia, a struggling artist with her teenage daughter Pearl, decide to stay as a tenant of Mrs. Richardson, a ‘philanthropist’.

Mia and Pearl, after living a nomadic life, decide to settle in Shaker Heights. Pearl becomes friends with Mrs Richardson’s children and they have a happy time together. But short lived.

A custody battle between Mrs Richardson’s close friend and Mia’s colleague, puts both the ladies in the opposing ends. The story takes a disastrous turn when Mrs Richardson gets impatient to uncover Mia’s mysterious past. The storm in their lives gets intense when Izzy, Mrs Richardson’s 10 year old daughter takes a gutsy, impulsive decision that changes everything forever.

What I liked about this book?

It is a multicharacter drama and kudos to the author for giving such a distinct and crisp characterisation to all the characters and not expanding the number of pages of the book.

A thing I liked about this book, all the supporting characters where given enough space and had a significant contribution to the main storyline.

My favourite character

It is difficult for me to decide which character I liked the most since there are many.

However, if asked to choose one, I ll choose Mia. Mia is an independent, strong woman who lives her life on her own terms. Her decision-making process is overpowered by her emotional intelligence and she is unafraid of the consequences of her decisions. She is gutsy and is never hesitant to stand for what she thinks is right.

Though Mrs Richardson is a strong, independent lady too, her character has flaws that portrays her as a villain of the story. She wanting Mia to be grateful to her for buying the painting, she trying to dig into Mia’s past to satiate her ego and curiosity and judging Mia’s daughter, Pearl over the abortion thing makes it clear that she was never a philanthropist, she was never what she showed she was.

#Lines from the book that are my favourite

1.“To those out on their own paths, setting little fires” 

2.“It was like training yourself to live on the smell of an apple alone, when what you really wanted was to devour it, to sink your teeth into it and consume it, seeds, core, and all.” 

3. “Rules existed for a reason: if you followed them, you would succeed; if you didn’t, you might burn the world to the ground.” 

4.“She smelled of home…as if home had never been a place, but had always been this little person whom she’d carried alongside her.”

5. “Maybe at birth everyone should be given to a family of a different race to be raised. Maybe that would solve racism once and for all.” 

6. “Like after a prairie fire…It seems like the end of the world. The earth is all scorched and black and everything green is gone. But after the burning, the soil is richer, and new things can grow….People are like that, too, you know. They start over. They find a way.” 

7.“Sometimes you need to scorch everything to the ground, and start over. After the burning the soil is richer, and new things can grow. People are like that, too. They start over. They find a way.” 

8.“Most of the time, everyone deserves more than one chance. We all do things we regret now and then. You just have to carry them with you.”

9.“One had followed the rules, and one had not. But the problem with rules… was that they implied a right way and a wrong way to do things. When, in fact, most of the time they were simply ways, none of them quite wrong or quite right, and nothing to tell you for sure what side of the line you stood on.”

10. “Better to control that spark and pass it carefully from one generation to the next, like an Olympic torch. Or, perhaps, to tend it carefully like an eternal flame: a reminder of light and goodness that would never – could never – set anything ablaze. Carefully controlled. Domesticated. Happy in captivity. The key, she thought, was to avoid conflagration.” 

11. “It came, over and over, down to this: What made someone a mother? Was it biology alone, or was it love?”

12. “All her life, she had learned that passion, like fire, was a dangerous thing. It so easily went out of control. It scaled walls and jumped over trenches. Sparks leapt like fleas and spread as rapidly; a breeze could carry embers for miles. Better to control that spark and pass it carefully from one generation to the next, like an Olympic torch. Or, perhaps, to tend it carefully like an eternal flame: a reminder of light and goodness that would never – could never – set anything ablaze. Carefully controlled. Domesticated. Happy in captivity. The key, she thought, was to avoid conflagration.”  

My Reading Journey

Normally I read books at night when my daily chores are over and everything is nice and peaceful. I have read it in three sittings and I felt both, the author’s and my pace were in sync. There were ups and downs in the story. The characters appeared real and I could clearly picturise the story. Great narration by the author. It did stir me and I had a great time reading it.

Finally ,

“To those out on their own paths, setting little fires”

It is a worth reading story. It is engrossing and emotional. Not a happy ending but a satisfying one, atleast for me.

Thank you Celeste Ng for writing this, nobody could have written it better than you.

Ratings

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Goodreads Ratings 4.1

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

It was also selected as the best book in fiction category in Goodreads Choice Awards 2017.

That’s all for this book. If you have read this book, share with us your favourite moments from the story. If you haven’t, are you planning to read it?

Also do not forget to recommend your favourite book for me to read and review.

XOXO ,

Upbeating Life.

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