This week I focused on reading a modern classic. This book “Little Fires Everywhere” is the second novel written by Celeste Ng. Ng’s debut novel is titled, “Everything I Never Told You”, and is also considered a modern classic. What is a modern classic? A modern classic is a book written after World War II that has modern themes which tell a tale about the society we live in today, and usually has a statement the book is trying to make.
I bought “Everything I Never Told You” and “Little Fires Everywhere” at the same time. However, it’s been a while. I remember reading Ng’s debut novel a while ago, but I haven’t picked up “Little Fires Everywhere” until I found it with a bunch of books previously put in storage.
The subtlety in this cover is amazing to me for flirting with the idea that everything is not as it seems. It is a very soft, aerial view of a neighborhood with the shapes not having very defined lines. The houses are not defined with stark contrasts to the yards they sit on, however I would say the houses that have the lights on do contrast to the streets and the yards behind them. The houses are mid-west, classic American looking homes. The title is in white across the cover, but it is not written in all caps. Nobody is screaming for you to read this book. But I think that’s what makes this book all the more appealing.
This book started off as a slow burn which slowly ignites into a large flame. The characters are introduced, the setting is set up, and the background of the story is getting placed within the first hundred pages or so. But it’s not boring to be reading about these characters. Shaker is not a boring place to me, even though it has the potential to be boring.
The author breathes life into the characters and into the setting in a way that’s simplistic but also has a double meaning to it as well. What does that mean? There are always two sides to every story, and I really think Celeste Ng is able to deliver this beautifully.
“Little Fires Everywhere” also digs into controversial topics such as double standards, racism, cultural appropriation, and societal judgment (especially with mothers and women). This book does so in a thought-provoking light that also makes it page turning and easy to read.
Final Thoughts & Star Rating
I enjoyed this book. I enjoy Celeste Ng’s writing style, and I thought this book was well written. It’s not going to be a book that I’m planning on rereading soon, but I understand that this book could be that to someone.
Overall, I give this book a 5/5 stars and recommend for most people to try and read this at one point or another in their life.