‘Little Fires Everywhere’ will captivate, thrill readers with expertly crafted characters, plot

This novel puts small town life under a microscope. Easily relatable characters and an exciting plot allows for an entertaining and satisfying read.

“Little Fires Everywhere” by Celeste Ng is a stunning portrait of life in a small town. The characters depicted are done so with an ease that makes it seem as if you know them.
First published in 2017, the novel was recently adapted by Hulu as a TV series starring Reece Witherspoon and Kerry Washington.
With the excess of time because of COVID-19, I have found myself turning to books. I think this is, ultimately, because I am (like most) starved for human interaction. Reading a book of quality allows one to escape into the world of others. Well-written books allow you to feel a connection to the characters because they are based in universal truths.
Ng captures life in a small town perfectly. The gossipy tendencies and goings on of high schoolers sets the scene for a masterclass in observation.
The story immediately catches the reader. A fire burns down the Richardson’s home. The Richardsons are a family of six. Their routines are all interrupted when Mia Warren and her daughter Pearl move into town. As the story evolves secrets are discovered about each person.
The plot is further complicated with a custody battle that forces everyone to take sides. The tension builds inside the Richardson home. The book encapsules heavy issues like race, adoption and class with such ease. Woven into the story, these issues seep their way into the characters’ daily lives.
Part of what makes this book such a triumph is that each of the characters is fully fleshed out. At no point were any of the actions a surprise, because the characters all had backstory informing their motivations. This makes it seem like a natural fit for TV adaptation.
At times I found myself identifying with one character and a page later relating for a different reason to a different character.
The book is an easy read, too. It feels effortless to read and enjoy the intricacies of each character. Still, you want to read more because of the suspenseful plot.
The book is so expertly written, it is inevitable the miniseries will fall short. Oh, but it does not.
With a cast of actors that fit the characters impeccably, the show holds up from the start.
Reese Witherspoon plays Elena Richrdson, the seemingly stereotypical PTA mom. Only, Witherspoon is able to bring to life the intricate layers of Elena from the novel.
Washington plays eccentric artist and mom Mia Warren. She brings to life the vivid character in Ng’s book and elevates every scene.
Witherspoon and Washington anchor the show, but every actor in the show steps up to the seemingly impossible task of advancing the characters in the book.
The miniseries premiered on March 18. Witherspoon and Washington both serve as executive producers.
The show received a rating of 77% from Rotten Tomatoes. This does not give the show enough credit. The show is one of the better adaptations of a book in recent years. As a fan of the book, I could not be happier with the show.