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  • Location: Shaker Heights, Cleveland

Little Fires Everywhere

Little Fires Everywhere

Why a Booktrail?

2000s: Setting a spark to trouble can cause a conflagration

  • ISBN: 978-1408709719
  • Genre: Fiction

What you need to know before your trail

Elena Richardson lives in the picture perfect Shaker Heights, with husband Bill and their four children; Lexie, Trip, Moody and Izzy. Mrs Richardson’s life is as planned and as detailed as the neatly mown lawns. She wants to give back to the community and so takes tenants into her rental home. Enter Mia Warren and her daughter, Pearl.

Mia however leads a more unplanned life, a rebellious one if you like. She’s a photographer  with several part time jobs to  get by. Pearl has never had such stability as she has now and she’s captivated by this new, rich environment. She also has a rebellious streak as does Izzy Richardson. People start to talk.

A neighbour wants to adopt an Asian baby. The curtains twitch once again and then a fire breaks out.

Travel Guide

Shaker Heights

Shaker Heights is actually a real life community which was set up in 1909 by two brothers who worked and owned a chuck of the railroads and wanted a retreat far away from the other, bigger industrial centres such as Cleveland. Their work was tough and difficult and they saw Shaker Heights as a real way out of the busy, growing cities and towns. The heritage of the Van Sweringen brothers can still be seen in the city where the author herself actually grew up so this is a very unique and special location in many ways!

“Shaker Heights was like that. There were rules, many rules, about what you could and could not do as Mia andPearl began to learn as they settled into their new home. They learned to write their new address: 18434 Windlow Road”

In Shaker Heights there was a plan for everything. When the city had been laid out in 1912 -on e of the first planned communities in the nation –  school had been situated so that all children could walk without crossing a major street; side streets fed into major boulevards, with strategically place rapid-transit stops to ferry commuters into downtown Cleveland.

The city’s motto is” Most communities just happen; the best ones are planned”

The Richardsons live in a neatly planned life with nicely manicured lawns.White picket fences, good schools etc. A well ordered and affluent life. Izzy however wants to rebel a bit and is soon friends with Mia

The Cleveland where Mia and Pearl live is not so accessible. Living in the rented house is an insight into a nicer area, one where they can put down roots. It’s near to the Richardson’s house and the two worlds collide.

Streetview Maps

B) Shaker Heights - Richardson House
C) Shaker Heights - Winslow House

Booktrailer Review

Susan: @thebooktrailer

Little Fires Everywhere

An interesting and complex read this one. A mix of a complex family drama with all the dynamics of a dysfunction family and more, added to small-town politics. A character driven novel with each character carefully crafted and described.

The book starts off with the fire and the rest of the book goes back to see the lead up to such an event. There are many small fires in this book of dysfunctional people, relationships and more. Izzy has disappeared and she is suspected of arson.

The mix of the Richardson’s, Mia and Pearl was a very interesting interweaving of stories and emotions. When you add in the story of the Chinese baby being adopted by a rich white family despite having a poor birth mother, things get very emotional and highly charged.

So, not a book for those who really want to get a sense of small communities, issues which pervade communities of all shapes, sizes and colours. Shaker Heights is very much shaken by the end of these stories and I think many readers will be as well. The line between good and evil is not where you think.

Booktrail Boarding Pass:  Little Fires Everywhere

Destination: Shaker Heights, Cleveland  Author/Guide: Celeste Ng  Departure Time: 2000s

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