Written By Diya Barmecha (Grade 8)
Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere is a beautiful culmination of many conflicts coming together to explain the burning of a home with multiple small original fires in the Richardson home in Shaker Heights.
The reason for the little fires everywhere is the result of many conflicts coming into play and the consequences of the resolution done in the novel. The Richardson family is a prestigious one who gave their rental home to an artist, Mia Warren and her daughter, Pearl to live in. Through this arrangement Pearl meets the Richardson family and grows close to all of the children. She becomes a friend to Lexie who she idolizes, she develops feelings for Trip and she spends most of her time with Moody. The only Richardson who she hasn’t come close to is Izzy later goes onto befriend Pearl’s mother, Mia.
One conflict in the story is Izzy. Her relationship with her mother has always been rocky. Izzy, an artist learns to understand and respect Mia the way she has done no one else. This allows a rivalry to spark between Izzy’s mother and Mia. This shows us how relationships develop and how something small can be a catalyst to someone very big. Izzy is the one who set fire to her house because this house was a place where she never felt at “home”.
Although this is the reason the house was set of fire there are many contributing factors. Throughout the story, Ng has highlighted teen pregnancy and the dilemma of young Lexie who has to choose between aborting her baby and going to a prestigious college. Ng also highlights the area of adoption and custody. This novel talks about these problems and shows how the different characters relate and react to its resolution. Towards the end as Mia’s past is uncovered and the truth about Pearls, parentage, they leave Shaker Heights.
The fire to the Richardson home with its multiple origins signifies in real life how there are many conflicts that rise to the tip of the iceberg. This bold move of lighting the house of fire was the result of many years of feeling the urge to do so. In my opinion, this book is a must read for all young adult readers to understand the complexities in life and how they play a big role to someone’s life.
This novel, a beautiful culmination shares the story of class, privilege and race. All the characters with their complex personalities fit together like a cog in a big machine trying to work. Celeste Ng has managed to show multiple points of view from her complex and intricate conflicts in the story. This is a novel I recommend to all young adult readers.
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