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Little Fires Everywhere: A Novel (edició 2019)
de Celeste Ng (Autor)
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Little Fires Everywhere de Celeste Ng
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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. All spring the gossip had been about little Mirabelle McCullough or depending which side you were on, May Ling Chow and, now, at last, there was something new and sensational to discuss. A little after noon on that Saturday in May, the shoppers pushing their grocery carts in Heinen's heard the fire engines wail to life and careen away, toward the duck pond.
This book gave me a lot of negative emotions, and that is not necessarily a bad thing.
It made me think a lot, mostly about what it means to be a woman, to be a mother.
At the end I was left frustrated and quite mad, at the lack of a happy ending, but I wouldn't have wanted it in any other way.
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng is a beautifully written and thought-provoking novel that explores the themes of motherhood, race, class, and the American dream. The story follows two families who come together in Shaker Heights, Ohio, a seemingly perfect town where everyone is white, wealthy, and well-educated. The Richardsons are the picture of perfection, with a successful husband and wife, two teenage daughters and two sons, and a beautiful home. The Warrens are a single mother and her teenage daughter, who have just moved to town. Mia is a talented artist, but she is also struggling to make ends meet.
The two families are initially drawn together by their children, who become friends. But as the novel progresses, the families begin to clash over their different values and beliefs. The Richardsons are traditional and conservative, while the Warrens are more liberal and unconventional. The two families also represent different sides of the American dream. The Richardsons have achieved the American dream through hard work and sacrifice, while the Warrens are still striving for it.
As the novel builds to a climax, the two families are forced to confront their own prejudices and biases. The Richardsons must come to terms with their own privilege, while the Warrens must learn to trust the people who have been so quick to judge them. In the end, Little Fires Everywhere is a story about the power of love and the importance of family.
Some things I didn't like that much about the book: the ending was a bit too tidy and the Mia character could have been developed more.
Overall, I really enjoyed Little Fires Everywhere. It is a well-written and thought-provoking novel that will stay with you long after you finish reading it.
[Disclaimer: I am not very good at writing reviews so I asked Bard, the Google AI, for help]
I'm not sure I know what Ng's intent was when writing this book, but suffice to say that I didn't really find any of the characters particularly redeeming by the end of the novel. However, that's not necessarily a bad thing - I actually quite enjoy characters I can love to hate.
At the start of the novel it seems that we are going to have the same stereotypical argument of what kind of household is better - the cookie cutter, suburban, affluent; or the artistic, loose, edge of poverty? That gives the novel a rather slow start. I'm not really all that interested in re-hashing the same old character arcs over again. Give Ng a bit of time though and she subsequently turns all of that on it's head. Elena, our cookie cutter suburban Mom is really holding on to the anxiety of a tough pregnancy and early delivery of her youngest child and instead of dealing with the trauma, takes it out on her daughter by being both protective and judgemental of her daughter's "free" spirit. Perhaps this is also an expression of the regret she holds for not unleashing her own free-spiritedness and instead holding back and choosing a live of luxury, routine and predictability.
Mia is presented to us a starving artist type, with abounding love for her daughter where they are lacking in possessions. We are led to believe that Mia could be rich and famous - but chooses instead not to be. She is emotionally unavailable, secretive and can't stay put. It isn't until she tries to help her friend and coworker regain custody of the child she abandoned (underfed and dirty) at a fire station. We then learn her truth - which I won't spoil here but trust me that it will set you on the edge of your seat for the remainder of the novel.
The children are varying levels of idealistic, but none have any redeeming qualities. Izzy, a true fireball is presented as misunderstood, angry at the world and in need of poetic justice. The way she goes about achieving such justice however... probably not the best choice. Pearl on the other side of the coin is small, shy, and mousy - I honestly don't think she ever stands up for herself or even tries to have her own opinion on anything, she blindly follows those who lead - her mother, Lexie, Moody, Trip...
Moody and Trip are quite boring - the emo kid and the jock, each with their eyes on the same prize - Pearl. And we know how that one ends.
Truly - the only sympathetic characters are the McCullough's - having experienced pregnancy loss myself I can only imagine the agony of finally having a baby in your arms only to have it threatened to be taken away. No one deserves that misery.
I know it seems like I am tearing this book apart - but I did really enjoy it. There were a lot of "oh no she did not!" moments, which I love. Also a lot of anticipation in how the discovery of all these secrets would impact the others. Unfortunately it did feel like many of the little fires fizzled out before they could become the blazes they were intended to be, and I was left feeling as if I didn't get quite the ending I was hoping for.
First read of the year and thankfully the first 5-star of the year!
This book is beautiful, intricate, and so full of empathy that it's hard to wrap my head around what I just experienced. The themes of motherhood, race, class, and friendship are so well done and expertly traced in every page. It's been on my TBR shelf for so long and I'm so happy I finally picked it up.
Es mostren 1-5 de 351 (següent | mostra-les totes)
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, the intertwined stories of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the mother and daughter who upend their lives "I read Little Fires Everywhere in a single, breathless sitting. With brilliance and beauty, Celeste Ng dissects a microcosm of American society just when we need to see it beneath the microscope ..."--Jodi Picoult, New York Times -bestselling author of Small Great Things and Leaving Time In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned - from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors 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 teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than 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 status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community. When old family friends of the Richardsons 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 unexpected and devastating costs. Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, and the ferocious pull of motherhood - and the danger of believing that following the rules can avert disaster.
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Classificació Decimal de Dewey (DDC)813.6Literature English (North America) American fiction 21st Century
LCC (Clas. Bibl. Congrés EUA)
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