Thursday, March 8, 2018

Books: Little Fires Everywhere

I finished this book in the plane coming back from Nevada, so I guess it's ok to sandwich the review in between my travel diary entries (yes there is till more to come of our little winter break trip - a whole lot of pictures that all look alike from the great and grand Grand Canyon).

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng was one of those books that I picked up because it got so much praise everywhere. It was named the best book of the year (2017) by Goodreads, and a number of magazines and newspapers, among them The Washington Post, so I figured that this must be a good book. Despite the hype I didn't know much of the story, plot or the characters before I began to read so I started from a clean slate in that regard. This was the first book I read by Celeste Ng. Maybe because of the praise I felt it was slightly a let down. Don't get me wrong, this is a wonderfully written book. The language is crisp and beautiful and the characters really come to life. However, I had an issue with the major set-up, or the question of who set up the fire, and it just didn't somehow catch my interest fully, or in the end seem that plausible or even important. One of the major themes of the book is motherhood, and I found agreeing and also disagreeing with the book's premises relating to motherhood. I think the worst thing for me was that I didn't fully like either of the main characters. However, the book did make me think and got under my skin, so I guess that's a good thing. Also the way the book described the town and the environment's impact on the residents was great. All in all, I'd give this a solid four stars.

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