July 1, 2019 at 12:16 pm #6187
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives.
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.October 11, 2019 at 10:15 am #6447
Wrapped this one up this week.
It was really slow in the beginning – spending too much time setting the tone of the story. Once it got to the second half, it was much more interesting. I can’t say I liked this book. It felt too unfocused for me. Do I care about Mia’s past & it’s impact to the present? Why did we need the teen drama inserted in? Was it a jab to Mrs Richardson for her rigidity? I guess – if she hadn’t been such a know it all throughout the story, I MAY have mustered up some sympathy for her at the end but she was depicted in such a cold manner. I couldn’t believe that she cared about her kids beyond the trophies they were for her….with the exception of Izzie who was her perpetual problem child because she didn’t fit the mold of the town or her life.
Bebe’s story….okay, sad all the way around & poses questions about societal norms – but was her story the one I was supposed to walk away with?
I did not like the ending. Mostly because I could not stand Mrs. Richardson. Her judging, her superior attitude. She lost Izzie, but she never even knew her other kids. She sat in judgment of Mia & Pearl, while her daughter used them for her own personal gains. She had zero clue of her sons’ feelings for Pearl. And what was the point of her even finding out about Mia’s past without gaining her own sense of understanding? All that info just pushed her agenda.November 6, 2019 at 1:43 pm #6523bkatParticipant@bkat
I am so far behind on the BOTMS (I’ve actually been done with this one for awhile and now I’m reading them out of order)
But I did get through this one and I actually liked it. I was skeptical starting out. The last couple of Reese’s Bookclub picks have not impressed me (I read the reviews and wonder if I read the same book as some others. Don’t get me started on Daisy Jones) and this was one of those picks from earlier this year (or maybe last year, I’m not sure). It started slow and builds slowly, but once it got rolling it was an excellent character study. I may not have liked most of the characters (Elena Richardson was working quite a few nerves. Lexie was a spoiled brat. Trip, an idiot. Pearl too naive and needy.), but their interconnected-ness led to some interesting questions about how we see ourselves versus how others see us. I don’t think you were supposed to walk away with any particular character’s story. Or feel empathetic towards any of them either. There were no sides to be taken because all sides had flaws.
Below is my review from Goodreads:
I went into this book hoping it would be good (because I’ve read a lot of positive reviews) but prepared to not be impressed at all (that seems to be an issue with large percentage of books for me lately). With all that, my immediate inclination to give this 4 stars was a bit of a surprise.
This is not a fast moving story. Instead it smolders (pun intended), occasionally ignites and then dies back down. It’s about characters and emotion. It’s not only about how we see ourselves but how others change and color how we see ourselves. There isn’t one character who doesn’t color themselves in varying forms of grey through out this story, even Elena who like to think in terms of black and white and flawless, perfectly planned outward appearances.
While the overarching story is that of Elena and Mia and their children and what happens to all of them, the secondary story of Bebe and her daughter is really what drives the narrative forward. It’s the lit match ready to set so many fires flaring.
If you’re looking for high drama and outbursts and racing toward a finish line, you won’t find it here. But if you want well written, deep character studies with emotion and true to real life messiness, then give this one a chance.November 7, 2019 at 1:32 pm #6527
I tend to default to Reese’s book club because the first few I read become favorites. The last couple picks have been a miss though so I may be a little bit more discerning when choosing from her list.
BTW – I like your goodreads review. Very good play on words. 🙂
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