Top positive review
Wonderful modern literature...
Reviewed in Australia on 3 June 2018
I struggled with writing the review as I’m not sure words can describe what a wonderful piece of modern literature this is. Plot descriptions seem to take away from the artistry of the words but I will attempt to surmise this tale of beautifully entwined real but scarred characters.
The story takes place in an upper-middle class suburb of Cleveland - Shaker Heights. At the very start of the novel we are witness to a house burning down however we then go back about a year in time to find out what led up to this event.
The house that was burning was owned by Mr. and Mrs. Richardson. Elena Richardson is a person who has always followed the rules she has worked as a journalist. The Richardson’s have four children; son’s Trip and Moody, and girls Lexie and Izzy... all is very conventional.
The story really begins when we are introduced to the two new tenants of a small house in the back owned by the Richardson’s. The tenants are a woman named Mia and her daughter Pearl. Mia is an eccentric and talented artist and her daughter Pearl is 14. The two of them have had a nomadic life barely living off the money Mia makes selling her art. This time Mia promises Pearl that they will stay and finally settle down, building roots and Pearl is delighted.
As the year progresses, the Richardson’s and Mia and Pearl all interact and the children enjoy having the new neighbours, however as time goes on, something happens that causes Mrs. Richardson to delve back into her journalist roots and when she looks into Mia’s past, everyone is in for some surprises...
Celeste Ng is so gifted her stories touch you deeply and leave me thinking and feeling for the characters for days after I’ve finished it. As the story unravels, we discover ordinary people who had to face harsh experiences and are now silently carrying their scars.
If you like stories of entangled human relationships coupled with kindness and wonderful prose this is a great read. After all, those in glasses houses shouldn't throw stones...
I really enjoyed it