Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (Free Download), Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down.
In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colours 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 just 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 rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.
When old family friends 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 an unexpected and devastating cost.
Entrancing * Daily Mail * Set in a ‘perfect’ town, Little Fires Everywhere opens with a house burning down and a family in tatters, before spooling back to see how the home’s inhabitants ended up in this nightmare. Ng has an uncanny knack of sneaking big issues into what you thought was just a thriller * Grazia * A drama that keeps building and building, this is one novel you won’t be able to put down. If you need more convincing, Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington recently announced plans to adapt the novel for TV – so get in there before it becomes an Emmy-winner! * Hello * An intricate story of family, motherhood, friendship and finding where we belong * Grazia * This compelling novel is a pleasure to read * Guardian.
Celeste Ng grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Shaker Heights, Ohio. She attended Harvard University and earned an MFA from the University of Michigan. Her debut novel, Everything I Never Told You, won the Hopwood Award, the Massachusetts Book Award, the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, and the American Library Association’s Alex Award. She is a 2016 National Endowment for the Arts Fellow, and she lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.