Virtual Book Club – Week 3

Welcome back to week 3 of our Little Fires Everywhere virtual book club! Each week on Sunday, we’ll be posting discussion questions to chat about in the comments below. Some of our librarians have already gotten the discussion started in previous weeks, and we’d love to hear what you have to say! 

For this week, we’re going to start talking about a few more serious topics: race, class, and society, and how they impact the novel and its themes. 

  • What were your thoughts regarding the Mirabelle McCullough / May Ling Chow case? Whose side were on? Did your allegiance change? 
  • How are class and race treated in this novel? What impact do they have on the story’s events and the way the characters respond? 
  • Describe Shaker Heights and its sense of itself as a refuge and “a little bit of heaven on earth.” Would you enjoy living there or somewhere like it? Consider why Celeste Ng might have set her novel in such a place? If you’ve been to Shaker Heights, do you think the way the book describes the city is faithful to the real place? Can you see something like the events of the novel happening in real life in Shaker Heights? 

Questions from litlovers.com, some additions from me. 

Whether you add your thoughts or just read the discussion, thank you for being here! We miss you too, and we’ll get through this together. 

2 thoughts on “Virtual Book Club – Week 3

  1. Mary April 12, 2020 / 5:41 pm

    I’ts very difficult for me to take sides on the Mirabelle/May Ling story line. I really felt anguish for both mothers. I do think that Mia is taking sides because of her experience with Pearl. I think Mia thought she could easily give up her baby through surrogacy, but she felt an undeniable bond with the child she was carrying.

  2. swood12 April 13, 2020 / 2:04 pm

    As someone who lived in Shaker Heights (in a duplex on Winslow Road, same street as Mia, in fact!), I can definitely see something like this happening in the city. Though it is a beautiful city and a lovely place to live, there is a stark class divide between the rich and the poor. This setting really serves to highlight the differences between Mia and Mrs. Richardson, between those who are privileged and those who aren’t, and how they impact each other. The rich want to set a good example, donate to charity, prove they are beyond things like race and class, but the truth is that they aren’t, just like Mrs. Richardson and her friends. I saw it in real life while living in Shaker, and I think in the novel, the city becomes a metaphor for American society as a whole.

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