Skip to main content

Celeste Ng and "Little Fires Everywhere"

Celeste Ng grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and plots her story, Little Fires Everywhere in the same town. In between Shaker Heights and her story, Ng attended Harvard University and earned a master’s degree in fine arts from the University of Michigan.

While we are talking about her writing chops, this latest book is also a Hulu original series starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington.

As for the book, it’s available on Kindle, in paperback, and on Audible. And, you might want to take a look because the story Celeste Ng draws us into is powerful and complicated. The story starts with the nearly idyllic setting of Shaker Heights and Elena Richardson, who we think might be close to a Stepford Wife.

Ng sets a somewhat long and winding road, giving us new hints and grudgingly providing backstory only as it’s needed to justify Elena’s latest movements across town while renting her and her husband’s starter home to a single woman, Mia Warren, and her daughter Pearl. The Richardson family is white. The Warren’s are African American. It shouldn’t matter, but there’s that edge, some confusion on everyone’s part as just how to act without insulting the other, but it still happens.

Pearl goes to school with the four Richardson children and they all get along well enough to visit each other’s homes. The Richardson’s have it all and have never traveled. Pearl has less but has been all over the states as her mother, a photographer and artist goes with the wind.

Well, more certainly she blows against the wind, and we learn both mothers, Mia and Elena have their dark sides, their secrets, and have faced the ferocious pull that motherhood brings.
About the time our many characters settle into their respective roles, a new character arrives who sets the town on its ear. As you may have guessed, this character also tears apart what little friendship there is between the mothers and their children.

I can definitely see the town of Shaker Heights in my mind, and I learned a little (or a little too much) about art and photography, but what the author does so well is present two (sometimes three) well-defined sides to each argument. I didn’t have to agree with one side over another, I just had to understand how each character’s life made them the way they are and made them think what they thought.

This is a fairly detailed, slightly over-the-top view of life, nature versus nurture, and a good read through and through. The book is 347 pages, $9.99 on Kindle


Popular posts from this blog

Review of "The Career Killer" by Ali Gunn

Author Ali Gunn brings us the first in her DCI Mabey series, with The Career Killer, a smart detective-mystery novel. Set in London, the main character works at London Yard, where her father wrote many of the training manuals. She may be her father's daughter, but her fellow detective would have preferred her father's son to be the heir apparent to his legacy.

Newly-minted Detective Chief Inspector Elsie Maybe takes her new promotion in stride until she inherits a wonky tribe of underlings and a murder at an old church. She's not fast to gather clues, not because she's moving at half-speed due to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, but because the nature of the new string of murders has some ring of normalcy or familiarity to her, starting with a young woman in a wedding dress found in the ruins of an ancient London church.

She doesn't move like Columbo or Hercule Poirot, asking questions and sifting the carnage over in her mind. Instead, she seems to plot the next move of …

Review of "Hop on Board" by Nicholas A. Price

Coming February 15 (and currently on Preorder) is Nicholas A. Price's children's book Hop On Board. Written for children 5 to 9, this story carries the tagline "We are the Germ family and you love to carry us around everywhere!"

Colorfully illustrated by Gigi Art, Price's story centers on the tough life germs lead, especially when silly children use soap, which particularly irritates germs.

Children will enjoy the many pictures, especially the ones of rogue germs who try to hide out in places too small for the human eye to see.

If the story and pictures don't convince your children to wash up before meals, then the Ghastly Facts presented near the end surely will.

They include such scary things as "Fifty thousand of the largest virus germs could fit on a pinhead!Ten thousand could fit on a grain of salt," and "Viruses can only survive inside a living plant, person or animal, yet they can still live on a dirty surface for a while and wait!"…

Review of "I Remember the Time" by Kim Hemphill

In the simplest terms, Kim Hemphill is a survivor. That's all he knew, that's all he had. And, he's a Seattle Mariner's fan, so things are still tough since the Mariner's have never made it to the World Series, but he's still rooting for them. And, I'm a Mariner's fan, so I know what it's like rooting for the underdog when there's no help in sight.
Of course, that's what Kim's life was like for years. The car he was riding in what hit by a train when he was three years old. The result was cuts, scrapes, bruises and 105 stitches across his face and his scalp. Just an early turning point. 
His family life was rough and tumble, and they were so poor he bought himself his first toothbrush when he was 14, shortly before he lost his brother to the Vietnam war.
If you are ready for a tough read, a story of homelessness, a story of learning to live with what you've got on your back and nothing more, then I Remember the Time, Kim Hemphill&#…