In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned -- from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors 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 teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.
When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town--and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia's past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs.
Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, and the ferocious pull of motherhood -- and the danger of believing that following the rules can avert disaster.
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For once a book has lived up to its hype. I had heard good things about this book, and about Celeste Ng's writing, and I couldn't resist that title, so I grabbed it off of my TBR pile, and lost myself for awhile. This book has it all - characters that you can relate to, a story that will tug at your heart strings, and beautiful language and imagery. It's a book that looks at the complexity of motherhood, the effects of society and society's image of you on your family life and on your ideas of what is important, and what is not. It's a book that looks at adolescence and the angst and insecurities of that time. It's a book that looks at relationships and the uncertainties and how each relationship can haunt you and change you forever. It will also make you reexamine what you think would be a "perfect" life. We do not know what is simmering and bubbling underneath when we see someone who we think has a "perfect" life. It's been awhile since I've lost myself in a book and in the story it tells, but Celeste Ng has done that by writing this almost perfect book. I wouldn't want to change anything in it. It's wonderful the way it is.