Book Review: “Little Fires Everywhere”

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng was a book I was eager to read because I wanted to watch the TV miniseries from Hulu. I have this self-proclaimed rule that if a book is made into a movie or show and it looks like something I’d really like to read, I’ll read it before I watch. So I found the book, read it, then binged the miniseries.

The story follows the happenings in Shaker Heights, a seemingly picture-perfect suburb of Cleveland, Ohio and two families that couldn’t be more unlike each other whose paths cross and intertwine. Mia, a single artist mother is nomadic, moving her daughter Pearl around the United States and when she lands in Shaker Heights she comes face to face with Elena Richardson and her pristine family. Elena and Mia are practically opposites and end up butting heads on everything they both get involved in. Both families end up involved together in various ways and turmoil essentially ensues.

The writing was easy to follow and definitely kept me engaged. I loved reading the opposing personalities of Mia and Elena and how they interacted together. The mystery of the climatic element of the book that’s eluded to in the beginning builds up throughout the novel but at a steady pace with twists and turns and smaller, side peaks that kept me interested throughout. I did find some chapters slow in pace but overall the story kept me reading.

Of course, one element that I wasn’t able to imagine myself was the characters. Because I had seen the previews for the show, I had Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon already placed in my mind for Mia and Elena respectively. I do think that sometimes already having a character in your head is nice. You can focus on the story and not get so carried away with trying to picture them in your head.

I really enjoyed the miniseries and thought that as far as book-to-screen adaptations go, it wasn’t bad. I’m glad the book was split into a few episodes instead of crammed into one two-hour movie because usually that ruins a large element of the plot’s buildup and character development which you all know is a fav of mine.

Overall I enjoyed the novel and would recommend it to fellow readers. It’s also a shorter read so if you need something easy and quick, here’s your book.

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