Book Chat: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
Check out Little Fires Everywhere
An intimate, intricate, and tender journey through the lives of four families. Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere is the type of novel you can set aside as you ruminate on the choices and subsequent consequences of the characters, question what choice you’d make if thrown into the same circumstance, and explore your own biases.
It’s also a novel you can speed through, utterly engrossed.
(I totally didn’t see that phrase on the book cover until AFTER I wrote this – I guess I had a similar experience to the Reviewer for The New York Times.)
Each character had his or her own flaws and strengths, and the way Celeste Ng creates such a believable cast left me truly envious (but in a good way).
From Mia’s questionable but empathetic past to Elena’s seemingly perfect life that leaves her uncertain and screaming inside, to the children’s navigation of discovering who they are and who they want to be, I was wowed at the detail and intricacies that made up a multitude of layers found in each key player.
As I discuss more in the video, Ng’s choice of an omniscient narrator was key in allowing us to so fully engage with the characters and care about each of their stories.
Most likely due to my own experiences with infertility, (you can read about them by clicking here and here) I felt a particular interest in the story of Mrs. McCullough, Bebe, and the general focuses on motherhood, maternal bonds, and what it means to be a mother that thread throughout the rest of the narrative. Was there a right choice? Could there ever be?
Finally, Celeste Ng’s exploration of the expectations and unavoidable weight of striving for perfection could (and perhaps should) leave many of us reassessing our ideas about our own lives in such a ‘lean in,’ goal oriented culture.
Although I may have never read a book with so many loose ends (I actually wanted MORE tied up, which I hardly ever do), at the same time, I fully understood Ng’s choice to leave so much unanswered. It felt right.
Author’s Website: celesteng.com
Experience, the joy, the pain, the lies, and the connections.
Click the book cover below or PREVIEW to start reading a free sample of Little Fires Everywhere right now.