In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.
Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.
When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town–and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs.
Shaker Heights is one of my new favorite book settings. This was the perfect setting for Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. It’s the kind of place where nothing bad ever happens. Most of the residents never want to leave the town. They take pride in the town and all the little traditions that are part of life there. Of course, life in the town drastically changed when the new tenants arrived.
Mia and Pearl are the new residents of the town. They move in quietly to an apartment owned by the Richardson. They don’t really belong to Shakers Height and don’t have the money or status like other residents but Elena Richardson has an apartment that is perfect for Mia and Pearl. Soon, the two families’ lives start integrating and this lends is disastrous results.
This book had a wonderful narrative style. The author pulls you into the story and you soon get lost in Shaker Heights. I like how seamlessly the different POVs shifted from one character t the other. As readers, we get to meet each one of the characters and flow with their stories. There are a few flashbacks but this didn’t interrupt the flow of the narrative. I think it was pure genius how this author managed to interweave the stories this way.
Little Fires Everywhere is an addictive read. The character development is so great that it becomes easy to get lost in the lives of the MCs. I also liked the tension in the book. As secrets were revealed, I was eager to find out the events that happened in the past. I also couldn’t wait to see the chaos that was threatening the present calm as the story progressed. I enjoyed reading this book and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a gripping read. I am actually going to miss the characters in the story. That is how memorable and realistic they were.