Reviewed by: Savannah
Page count: 368 Pages
Rating: 5/5 stars
In stock: Yes
I had been so excited to finally read this book FOR MONTHS! As soon as I learned that Celeste Ng was releasing a new book, her last one Everything I Never Told You was one of my absolute favourite books that I read last year. I’ll give you the synopsis from Goodreads before I go any further,
“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.
When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town–and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs.”
I found that this book was an extremely quick read and I didn’t want to put it down. All of the characters intrigued me and made me want to read more. It is one of those books that ‘exposes’ those seemingly perfect families for how imperfect they really are but does it in such an amazing way. Even though the premise of it is very common I found that this book was still unlike anything else I have ever read. I became so engrossed in all of the characters lives and what would happen to them.
There are so many amazing elements and themes found in this book as well, such as family dynamics, friendships, relationships, belonging, and racial dynamics. It is crazy that such a small book can tackle so many large themes in such an eloquent way without feeling rushed. All of the ideas in this book are fully developed and presented wonderfully.
You should all go read this if you want a fun and fast read that takes a very typical premise of ‘perfect people in perfect places’ and flips it on its head, but different than how it is usually done.