Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (5 out of 5)

I read her debut novel, “Everything I Never Told You”,  and loved it. Although it had a much different energy than this book did. I think that’s the sign of a true author; the ability to dance across different landscapes, tap into multiple heartlines, and bring a thousand unsung songs into the clearing. Ng has such a gift. The title of the book is perfect for the metaphorical devices popping up all over through the novel. This is the sort of novel that book groups will go cuckoo over. There are a litany of issues, morality and otherwise, that are brought up here, and I can almost hear groups of bored readers arguing over the issues that Ng brings to the surface of a story that is about so, so many things. I can’t wait! The book is out on August 22, 2017, from Penguin Random House. Don’t forget to put it on your list right now. 

One thing that Shaker Heights, Ohio, can’t be called is unpredictable. A community where everything is regulated (down to the color your house is painted), the Richardsons live their regimented lifestyles. Until a bohemian artist named Mia and her quiet daughter Pearl arrive and rent an apartment from the Richardsons. Pearl becomes close with the kids…distant friends with Lexie, almost a brotherly bond with Moody (although he is in love with her), a secret affair with Trip, and a strange kinship with Izzy, the youngest daughter of the bunch. Mia gets a part-time job working at a Chinese restaurant, and part time for the Richardsons. The McCulloughs, a couple and close friends of the family, are preparing to adopt a Chinese infant that was left at the fire station in town. Things suddenly bound out of formerly locked closets, and secrets and alliances are drawn when the mother of the infant reappears on the scene, begging to be reunited with her child. Elena, head of the Richardsons and former reporter, vows to help her friend win the custody case, and she leaves no stone unturned. Of course, this causes ripple effects across all points of trespass, including her own family. Elena is so busy trying to help her good friend cement her daughter’s adoption, while completely missing the sinking ship that is her OWN family. Mia and Pearl are trying to lay down roots and a foundation, but nothing can stay as is when you have a wandering spirit involved. And why is that? The Richardson kids have various derailed cars that they are trying to get back on the track, but deceit in the face of good intentions leaves nothing to chance. This is a novel of home, family, the past, the present, the unbidden free spirit, and the right thing. What is the right thing? Does anyone really know? Freedom of spirit is a thing, but where does it begin and where does it end? This is a book that looks at all angles. There are no good or bad guys in here; only humans. And that’s why this novel and its author succeed at capturing the reader so completely. I highly recommend this title. 

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~ by generationgbooks on July 2, 2017.

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