Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
Rating by Napanista: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4/5
This book hit my sweet spot, as it weaves a complex story intersecting the lives of teens and mothers. Set in the early 90's (before cell phones and social media), it follows the story of two very different mothers: Mrs. Richardson (Elena) and Mia.
Mia, a single mom, barely making a living as bohemian artist (because she chooses not to be commercial), raises her daughter, Pearl in a nomadic lifestyle. On the other side of the coin, Mrs. Richardson, is the matriarch of her family of 4 teenagers, and a docile lawyer husband, with a beautiful home in the perfect picket fence town of Shaker Heights - an actual town that exists in Ohio. The two styles don't mix, and Mia and Mrs. Richardson's opposing ways of viewing the world, and raising a child, are ultimately the underlying conflict of the book.
The story begins in the present moment- with the children of Mrs. Richardson watching their house burn down during the morning hours on a normally quiet Saturday. The rest of the story goes back 6 months, to relay how these events came to be, leading to Mrs. Richardson uncovering the well kept secret past of Mia. This author is an incredible storyteller, weaving the threads of the story so tightly, that its a wonder to watch it all come together. Dealing with teenage love, teenage pregnancy, adoption, and mother-daughter relationships, there is plenty to keep a book club busy, and plenty for me (a mom to teenagers) to reflect upon. While our book club hated Mrs. Richards and seemed to be rooting for Mia., I found myself feeling sorry for her, and relating a little bit to both moms. I feel like maybe as a mom, I am a little bit Mia, and a little bit Mrs. Richardson (but hopefully just a little bit!)
I have heard that her other book, is even better, so I will definitely add it to my list!!