Review of Celeste Ng, “Little Fires Everywhere.”   Leave a comment

This novel certainly doesn’t need another review to add to the 47,255 already entered on amazon. So I choose to make a few more personal comments evoked by this gripping and lovely book. First off, the last couple of novels I read and reviewed introduced me to lives very unlike the one I have led. This one, on the other hand, helped me settle in to the more familiar – the protected life of one who had no real experience with people of other races or economic standing. In the process I was lost in a well-told story that drew me into long reading sessions when I should have been doing something else.

I even broke a booklovers rule, having earmarked two pages with thoughts that provoked me. On page 269 (paperback), “She’ll be raised in a home that truly doesn’t see race. That doesn’t care, not one infinitesimal bit, what she looks like. What could be better than that?” No, I won’t go into a rant, but I will mention my friend’s comment – my friend who adopted and raised two little boys, not without some major problems. “Babies are not life savers to be handed out to those who want something sweet.” What does it really mean to love someone?

Finally at the end on page six of A conversation with Celeste Ng: “Now we’re starting to be aware of the problems with not ‘seeing race’; ignoring race means ignoring longstanding problems and history, as well as ignoring important aspects of a person’s identity. I hope readers, encountering that allegedly race-blind mindset in these pages will reflect on the ways our views have changed – and on the ways they haven’t changed as much as they might need to.”  

Love, individuality, freedom, cultural constraint, creativity, sex. – life. All there in this one six star story.

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