So it’s May 29th which means it’s time to review Little Fires Everywhere. I read this book as a part of Zoella’s book club monthly read and felt it was thoroughly appropriate given that it has been on my TBR list for a while. The photo was also used from Zoella’s book club page – photo credit it Zoella
“To those out on their own paths, setting little fires.”
Little Fires Everywhere is set in the quiet suburb of Shaker Heights, where everything is meticulously planned. Where there are rules for everything – from the colours of the houses, to the successful lives in its residents will go onto lead.
“There were many rules to be learned. And their were many other rules Mia and Pearl would not be aware of for a long time. The rules governing what colours a house could be painted…”
No one embodies this rule making spirit any more than Elena Richardson.
“Rules existed for a reason: if you followed them, you would succeed; if you didn’t, you might burn the world to the ground.”
Mia Warren is new to the neighbourhood. With her daughter Pearl in tow, they arrive in an idyllic bubble and rent from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than just tenants and all four of the Richardson children are drawn in by the mother-daughter pairing.
“The truth was that she wanted to study the Richardson’s both when they were there and when they weren’t. Every day, it seemed, Pearl absorbed something new…a turn of phrase…a gesture.”
But Mia, an enigmatic artist, has a inherent disregard for rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.
” Everything, she noticed, seemed capable of transmogrification. Even the two boulders in the backyard sometimes turned to silver in the early morning sunlight. In the books she read, every stream might be a river god, every tree a dryad in disguise, every old woman a powerful fairy, every pebble an enchanted soul. Anything had the potential to transform, and this, to her, seemed the true meaning of art.”
When the Richardson’s friends attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts dividing the town and pits Mia and Mrs Richardson on opposing sides.
” What made someone a mother? Was it biology alone, or was it love?”
More determined than ever, Mrs Richardson is on a mission to uncover anything and everything about Mia and her past.
“Life isn’t fair, or Fair doesn’t always mean right.”
But with this obsession comes unexpected yet devastating costs to both her family and Mia’s.
“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.”
This book explores the weight felt under long-held secrets and the ferocity of motherhood.
“How did you explain to someone – how did you explain to a child, a child you loved – that someone they adored was not to be trusted?”
But also the danger of believing that planning and following the rules can avert disaster and/or heartbreak.
“Most of the time, everyone deserves more than one chance. We do all things we regret now and then. You just have to carry them with you.”
A slow start to this novel but definitely cranks up the gripping factor with every chapter. This book is slow-moving but engrossing and emotional all at the same time. It’s a powerful and emotive story that makes empathise with the characters because they seem so real. This book has slight tones of Small Great Things.
A 3 star novel for me – whilst I enjoyed it, it was very slow to get going and a lot of stories to keep track of. It was one of those books that I found easy to put down and pick back up at any given time.
If this book is also on your TBR list then find it on Amazon.
Until next time,