Confession time: when the lovely Borisanne gifted me with this book in this year’s CBR Book Exchange, I was disappointed. In her defense, it was definitely in my “to read” pile on Goodreads; however, in my defense I forgot it was there. Last year I read Celeste Ng’s “Everything I Never Told You” and I did NOT care for it. I gave it a two.
So, I went into reading “Little Fires Everywhere” ready to dislike it but was stunned to discover I really REALLY liked this book. I found it interesting, compelling, thoughtful, and surprising. One factor that could be at play is that I did the audio of the other novel, and this one I read. I do think the narration was good, so I don’t necessarily think that I can completely chalk up my distaste to medium. In “Everything” I felt that the characters had empty motivations for why they were so secretive in their interactions with each other, but in this one though that same secrecy/communicative misdirection existed, I understood their motivations more clearly.
This was a valuable lesson to me because I have tended to give an author one chance, and if I don’t like a book won’t go back for another. With the amount of books on our planet, it’s not a bad rule of thumb, but I’ve learned that I could be missing out on something great with this “baby with the bathwater” sort of approach. In the future, and may need to give authors that don’t resonate to me a fairer shake and not be so quick, or at least so resolute, to judge.