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Fixed on Fiction

Little Fires Everywhere

In January, Fixed on Fiction met to discuss Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng-

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colours of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.

Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than just tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the alluring mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past, and a disregard for the rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.

When the Richardsons' friends attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town and puts Mia and Mrs. Richardson on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Mrs. Richardson becomes determined to uncover the secrets in Mia's past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs to her own family – and Mia's.

Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of long-held secrets and the ferocious pull of motherhood-and the danger of believing that planning and following the rules can avert disaster, or heartbreak.

-Summary courtesy of Goodreads.

Little Fires Everywhere was overall very well received. 9 readers gave it a thumbs up and 2 did not finish (but intend to).

Here are some of the initial comments readers made while discussing this month’s title:

  • An easy read in which I was constantly asking: “Which side of this issue am I on?” I liked that and I liked that she didn’t tie everything up at the end.
  • Very surprised because I hated her first book, but I liked this one! She didn’t go as dark. I liked the fleshed out characters. People were layered…not stock characters.
  • Easy to become engrossed with the characters and there was growth in all the characters. Interesting about the different aspects of motherhood.
  • Ng writes in a way that just makes you want to see what happens at the end. Starting with the ending (the fires) was an excellent hook.
  • You could easily sit down and read 50 pages without trouble. It’s compelling. I think Mrs. Richardson was jealous of Mia.
  • I especially enjoyed the second half of the book. Showed a lot of levels of motherhood.
  • Took me a little while to care, but I did get into it. The part that made me crazy was her stealing the baby and flying to China. Where did she get the money? Or a passport for her daughter?

These are just a few comments from our discussion. Feel free to share additional thoughts on Little Fires Everywhere below.



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