Wow, week four of this book club already – time seems to drag on and at the same time, go by so fast! I hope that these discussion questions have gotten you thinking about something other than the pandemic! So let’s turn our brains away from what’s going on outside and to that little duplex on Winslow Road:
The novel’s opening begins with the fire and then goes backward in time to trace events leading up to it. Why might Celeste Ng have structured her novel to begin with the ending and the most dramatic event? How does the reverse structure affect your reading of the story?
How does Mrs. Richardson respond to the fire — immediately and then later at night. What does she come to realize about Izzy and her role in her daughter’s behavior. Does she gain your sympathy at the end?
Next Sunday will be our last week posting discussion questions for Little Fires Everywhere. In May, if the shutdown continues, we’ll pick another book to discuss, so keep an eye on this space for updates!
As always, play nice with others and have fun! Feel free to join the discussion or read some of the comments, and make sure to click the tag for ‘Virtual book club’ to look back on previous weeks.
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?