Tag Archives: Relationships

Review: Little Fires Everywhere

Little Fires Everywhere

Little Fires Everywhere
By Celeste Ng
Penguin Press, Hardcover, 9780735224292, September 12, 2017, 352pp.

The Short of It:

The essence of motherhood can be shown in so many ways, a photograph of a mother holding a child, a mother gazing through a window at a child who is no longer hers, a mother’s contempt for her own daughter. All these things come together in this beautifully told story.

The Rest of It:

The story opens with Izzy burning down her house. From the moment of conception, Mrs. Richardson knew that this child would be different from her other children and as Izzy grows into a young woman, Mrs. Richardson wonders if she will ever have a relationship with her that isn’t wrought with frustration and worry.

Izzy doesn’t get along with anyone in her family but does get along with Mia and her daughter, Pearl. Mia and Pearl are renters of a little apartment owned by Izzy’s family. Although they are renters, Pearl is more a part of the family than Izzy is, always hanging out at the main house with the other kids. Mia, a photographer by trade, makes ends meet by taking odd jobs and eating leftover takeout but she has a way with Izzy and even Izzy is surprised by this.

There are many stories within this novel as each character finds his or her way but ultimately, it’s a story about motherhood and what it means to be a family. As these characters interact with each other and their story lines begin to cross, secrets are revealed and they are forced to look closely at themselves in the mirror. We find out why Izzy burns the house down and somehow we can relate.

I really loved this beautifully written novel and it will most definitely be on my list of faves at the end of the year. Everything came together so beautifully. Not perfectly tied-up with a bow but realistically and with hope. I plowed through those final pages and then read the last page over and over again.

Have you read it? If not, I highly recommend it.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

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Review: Small Hours

Small Hours

Small Hours
By Jennifer Kitses
Grand Central Publishing, Hardcover, 9781455598526, June 13, 2017, 288pp.

The Short of It:

Told in one single day, this story is both well written and heartfelt. What happens to a couple when secrets begin to take over their lives?

The Rest of It:

After moving to what Helen believes to be the ideal neighborhood, Tom and Helen raise their daughters and slowly realize that the everyday struggles of work and raising children have created a slight rift between the two of them. The neighborhood is not what it seems to be and Tom’s relationship with another woman, one that results in another daughter almost the same age as the two he has, forces him to keep the secret long after he intends to.

What an interesting story. It’s told hour-by-hour and all in one day so what we see as a reader is the breaking point, really. The point where Helen and Tom have to come to grips with their reality and it’s not pretty but it’s very honest and very real. As readers we get to share in their regret and their fears. I really enjoyed the writing and the deep looks into each of the main characters. There are no “bad guys” here. Each character is trying his or her best to be the best person they can be. It’s a struggle but not impossible.

Lovely. Small Hours is lovely read with deeply flawed characters and a story that’s told in a quiet but direct way. I recommend it.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.