Celeste Ng Lights up Little Fires inside me. Everywhere.
“To those out on their own paths, setting little fires”
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng was an amazing read. I LOVED this book. A bulky 5 stars.
I don’t know what put me off reading this book last year, probably the ‘desperate housewife-y’ blurb, or not seeing many reviews around. I know it was popular, but the book blurb was nothing attracting. I sometimes don’t get people who write the blurbs. They can get things wrong!
Little Fires Everywhere opens by the information that Izzy, the weirdest one of 4 children, put her own house on fire. She lighted up ‘little fires everywhere’ to make sure the house burns down. We don’t know why though. And the whole novel is finding out WHY SHE DID IT.
“The firemen said there were little fires everywhere,” Lexie said. “Multiple points of origin. Possible use of accelerant. Not an accident.”
First thing first: Izzy and Mia are UNFORGETTABLE characters. I’ll never forget them. (or this novel)
The novel takes place in Shaker Heights, a posh neighbourhood in Ohio where everything is glazed and nice from the outside although things might be shaking inside.
“Most communities just happen; the best are planned.”
That’s how Shaker Heights is defined. It’s well planned for everyone’s convenience. It’s a little modal town mocking America’s obsession with well-being and comfort. Mrs Richardson, born and bred in Shaker Heights is a true believer of this comment. She is a perfect-looking mum and wife. She lives in a perfect house with her husband and children: Izzy, Lexie, Moody and Trip. She also has an investment property that she rents out. One day a young woman called Mia comes along with her daughter Pearl. Mia is an artist but although she lives for her art, she can’t make a lot of money and has to take shit jobs elsewhere to survive… Pearl is quiet and clever. Some members of the Richardson family gets drawn into this mother and child. Small events between characters starts as little fires and everyone gets burned. That’s all I am saying.
Thıs novel is heart-breaking but not agitating like most of the novels out and about making your heart cringe.. It is thought-provoking. From the aspect of being an artist, to motherhood, it makes you think a LOT. I loved the way Ng tells how ordinary people could be so cruel without even realising. The writing is so natural.
“I’ll tell you a secret. A lot of times, parents are not the best at seeing their children clearly.”
I wish the blurb of the book wasn’t mentioning the custody battle for the Chinese baby. This comes much later in the novel, not in the opening, and in book description it sounds like the book is all about this custody case. Well it’s not. It’s just a part of it, another event setting little fires.
This novel lighted up little fires in me. It touched me, left a mark in me.
“Sometimes you need to scorch everything to the ground, and start over. After the burning the soil is richer, and new things can grow. People are like that, too. They start over. They find a way.”
I think you will like Whistle in the Dark by Emma Healey, if you liked this book.