Little Fires Everywhere: motherhood and racism (a spoiler-free review)

I finally gave in: The TV series Little Fires Everywhere demanded to be watched.
Not only had Brene Brown invited Celeste Ng, the writer of the original book, to her podcast, but my friends had been sharing poems of the show on all social media channels.
A Hulu/Amazon Prime show starring Kerry Washington (Mia) and Reese Witherspoon (Elena), it seemed to cater heavily towards mothers and their issues (you can find the trailer here).
Boy am I glad I finally caved, I watched the entire 8 hour series in one day!

Elena: “Again, that’s the difference between you and me. I would never make this about race.”
Mia: “Elena, you made this about race when you stood out there on the street and begged me to be your maid.”

The all-round bestseller book received many changes once it got swooped up by Washington and Witherspoon’s production companies. Ng did stay on as a producer so I assume she is on board with all the adaptations.
Witherspoon’s media firm ‘Hello Sunshine’ brought us many female-led classics such as Wild, Gone Girl and Big Little Lies.
Issues that women struggle with such as identity crises, motherhood and rejection are finally given a canvas on the screen.
In this adaptation, racism and sexuality take a very timely centerstage along side them.

“Sometimes you need to scorch everything to the ground, and start over. After the burning the soil is richer, and new things can grow. People are like that, too. They start over. They find a way.”

Two stubborn and headstrong women who could not be any more different face off.
Ng’s brilliant writing shines through at every step, making us empathise with both while also seeing the flaws in their decisions that impact their families.
This show will get you thinking on systematic inequalities without ever feeling too heavy, while delivering drama and tugging on your heart strings.
At a time when most series are on summer break and fanatics such as me are left hanging dry, it was an amazing surprise, especially if you haven’t read the book!

“Everyone sees race, Lex,” said Moody. “The only difference is who pretends not to.”

Enjoyed this?
You might want to check out my spoiler-review of Normal People or my post advocating for cringe comedy!

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