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Little Fires Everywhere

Celeste Ng
2017, 338 pages

Shaker Heights is a model town with beautiful houses, wide lawns shorn to perfection and inhabited by perfect families. The perfect family featuring the story are the Richardsons, father and mother with successful careers and 4 teenage children getting fantastic grades in High School. Only Izzy, the youngest, is rather out of tune with the rest of the family. The appearance on this idyllic scene of a shabby looking family means quite a change in the orderly lives of the Richardsons. Mia is an artist/photographer. She has decided it is time for her and her 15-year old daughter Pearl to settle somewhere after their hitherto itinerant lives and hopes to achieve this by renting a cheap “half a house” from Mrs Richardson. Lots of unexpected developments occur. In the end we find the Richardsons on their now not so perfect lawn, watching the fire brigade trying to extinguish the last flames of their burnt down house. A gripping story about identity, attempts at being a good parent, surrogate motherhood and adoption


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