It’s Sunday. What day of quarantine is it? Who knows – we’ve all been stuck inside for what seems like forever.
We librarians know that you miss all of our face-to-face library programs, but especially our beloved book clubs. So, good news, everyone: we are hosting a virtual book club! And the first book is… drumroll please… Little Fires Everywhere! (Click that title for a direct link to the book in our Overdrive e-book catalog).
Set in our very own Shaker Heights, Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng is a gripping drama of the complicated relationships between Mia Warren, a wandering artist, her daughter Pearl, and the rich family of socialites that are their landlords. The streaming service Hulu also just released their adaptation of the book, starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington.
We’ll be talking about this book through the month of April and will post a few questions to discuss each week on Sunday. If the quarantine continues, we’ll announce a new book at the beginning of May, and so on.
We invite you, our lovely patrons, to make your voices heard in the comments below. Tell us if you think Mia is a scam artist, or if Elena is a crazy stalker! We want to hear it all, but please keep your comments courteous.
Our first questions are:
- How would you describe Mrs. Richardson and Mia, the two mothers in this novel? In what ways are they different? Why might the former always be referred to as “Mrs.” rather than Elena, while Mia is always referred to by her first name? Clearly it is done purposely by the author: how does it shape the way we feel about the two women?
- Talk about the four Richardson children, Lexi, Trip, Moody, and Izzy. Are any of the four more sympathetic than others? What is their relationship to one another? How does their affluence shape their outlooks on life?
Questions from litlovers.com.
Check back next Sunday for more discussion questions!
I see the two mothers, Mrs. Richardson and Mia Warren as polar opposites in personalities but similar in both wanting to define the role as a mother. Their definitions of a mother are different from each other, but they both spend much of their lives trying to define, justify and fight for the role of a mother.
I agree that the two mothers are portrayed as opposites and the same in their motherhood. I did find it interesting that Mrs. Richardson is always referred to by the honorific ‘Mrs.’ I think it works both in her favor and against in the narrative. The title ‘Mrs.’ makes her seem more respectable, older, and established than Mia, but it also erases her individuality as a woman, since she is only known by ‘Mrs.’ and her husband’s last name. She conforms to the patriarchal expectations of society, while Mia is free to wander and do as she pleases. Mia is both more free and worth less than Mrs. Richardson by the dictates of society, which I think is part of the reason Mrs. Richardson is obsessed with her.