Saturday, June 29, 2019

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

This title is on the review list for the Lakeside Women’s Club this summer, so I decided to check it out.  I’ve been reading it on the porch in the evenings and at the wellness center in the morning.  I’m about 1/3 finished and not sure I’ll go on.  Ng is a good writer, but stories about bio and non-bio mothers and babies, and predictable criticisms of suburban families and their life styles (in this case Shaker Heights, Ohio) are just not comfortable for me.  I’ve read several reviews, from wildly enthusiastic to I-just-didn’t-care. There is a movie in the works since it’s got all the ingredients – teenagers in the 1990s, racial tensions, adoptions, surrogacy, frustrated homemaker, and do-gooder Democrats.

Spoiler:  Ng has a motherhood problem, in addition to her angst and guilt about being wealthy and a successful Asian American. (Wealthy, professional parents, raised in Shaker Heights).  One mother is a surrogate who stole her child and raised her on the run, one mother abandoned her child and kidnaps her back from the adoptive parents, one mother wanted her child but resents all the problems that child represents from  preemie to rebellious teen, one mother had an abortion but used someone else’s name.

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