Synopsis from goodreads.com
Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down.
In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colours of the houses, to the successful lives its reside
This book was absolutely underwhelming for me. One of my pet peeves is when an author explore so many topics and does not give them the attention it needs. I feel like that’s what happened in this book. I always prefer, fewer well established topic ideas in a book. Anyways now that I’ve acted like I’ve written a book before, let’s move on. (i haven’t)
I think the point of this book was about the imperfections of motherhood, I am not a mother yet but I easily understood some of the challenges these different moms experienced. For example, having to put one’s life on pause so they can help the child thrive. Sometimes motherhood is sacrifice and sometimes motherhood is selfishness.
What really stood out to me was the story line of the Asian mother who left her child at a fire station, decided she had changed her mind after 8 months or so, lost custody to the foster parents and then stole the baby. What? I found this to be so far fetched and I didn’t like how unrealistic it was. The whole court case was underwhelming for me and to be frank the argument by the birth moms lawyer was so problematic and I hope no court ever side with that. (now I am speaking really boldly. Remember I’ve never had a child, therefore I might not understand the bond. Also, this is just a review)
I found it to be problematic because of the strong emphasis on culture instead of well being. Yes an Asian baby growing up in a Caucasian household will do little to nothing for the child’s “culture.” But I will rather a child goes to a place where they will have they basic necessities of life, than have culture and no food coupled with used diapers.
Mia’s whole journey was just so confusing to me. I was hoping for a resolution. I think that is where Celeste did a good job, she didn’t wrap everything up and tie it with a pretty bow. Just a reminder that life is always so pretty and sometimes things remain undone.
But I guess little fires is about new beginning and doing something about our situations instead of sitting there and looking at it. That’s a message I can dig
Also, the rebel child who wants to leave the suburbs has been told so many times. I don’t think Celeste brought anything new to that story line. Overall, I couldn’t relate.
I rate this book 3/5