This is one of the many books that surprised me this year. I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did. I received an ARC copy, most likely through a contest, which I requested because the blurb says it’s about “an enigmatic artist” who’s a single mom who has a “mysterious past” and whose “disregard for the status quo” upsets the “carefully ordered community” she moves into with her daughter. All that made me want to find out what exactly happens in the story and now I’m glad I read it because Little Fires Everywhere is one of my favorite books of 2017.
In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned — from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.
Enter Mia Warren — an enigmatic artist and single mother — who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.