All that is background for how I came to stay up until nearly two o'clock this morning finishing Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng.
From the first page, I liked the writing in the book. It flowed and was pretty and made me immediately invested in the characters. But I couldn't really get into the story for several days, maybe a week.
After missing the November 30th deadline I had set for myself (it was, after all, the November selection), I went on lockdown last night. At first I was forcing myself to read, but then a flip switched when I read on paper feelings and experiences and relationships that I'd had my whole life and had never been able to articulate. I read about a mother and daughter who love each other but, for reasons neither one can articulate, resent each other? Sometimes dislike one another? At the very least, live in a near-constant state of tension. But Celeste Ng articulated it. She summed up a lifetime of fights and disagreements and misunderstandings in a revelatory way. I don't mean to imply that the story mirrored my own life. There aren't many similarities, actually. But the emotions of the story rang true to me.
For that and many more reasons, I'd recommend the book to pretty much anyone.
But that's not actually why I decided to break this blog's silence after two years. Instead, I just wanted to put this down in writing and send it out to the world: Does anyone know if the author is a big Grey's Anatomy fan? Here's why I ask. Two of the main characters are named Lexie and Izzy. There's a Mark and a Warren. There's a horse named Jackson and a family named the Averys. Lexie's middle name is Grace. There's a neighbor named Mr. Yang. And the character that drives the whole story forward, while not really being part of everything that happens, is named Mirabelle, which in my mind sounded a lot like Meredith. Okay, so that last one is a stretch. But really. Am I supposed to believe those names are all just coincidence?