The library ladies chose Little Fires Everywhere for our third book club pick. This bestselling novel by Celeste Ng debuted in 2017 and has since been adapted as a popular show on Hulu. We have Little Fires Everywhere as a hardback in our Recreational Reading section.
This novel tells the story of an insulated community, Shaker Heights, and what happens when neighbors disagree over the controversial issues of transracial adoption, single parenthood, socioeconomic differences, and unplanned pregnancies.
Mild spoilers ahead.
What Little Fires Everywhere gets right: First off, what a 10/10 book cover. It grabs your attention- especially with that title- but the color scheme is beautiful.
This book tells everyone’s story, from the seemingly random best friend of a main character to the Chinese immigrant who wants her baby back. Author Celeste Ng somehow expertly weaves all of these stories together, connecting the threads between each character and giving a voice to each perspective. You’ll probably find yourself empathizing with each of them at some point in the novel.
What Little Fires Everywhere gets wrong: It gets off to a slow start. I just wasn’t that interested in Shaker Heights or the many characters that were introduced right off the bat.
Once I did get to know the characters, I worried about them. Teenage Pearl was surprisingly sheltered despite her freewheeling upbringing, and I worried that she would get her heart broken. I felt sad for the characters who struggled to become pregnant, and for the ones who did and had to make difficult choices. Little Fires Everywhere was a well-written book, but it was a hard one to read as it seemed like every page introduced a new, emotional, controversial issue where both sides were fairly well-represented.
Who should read Little Fires Everywhere: Readers who want to tackle challenging issues and enjoy reading about different perspectives on the same problem. Readers who enjoy books about families and neighborhoods.
Who shouldn’t read Little Fires Everywhere: Readers looking for a happy, light story or who need a break from controversial issues.
Content note: brief sexual scenes, language.
Most book reviews on this blog are written by Olivia Chin and reflect her personal opinions of the books, not the library’s view as a whole.