Little Fires Everywhere: A Frank Look at Motherhood and Race

    Everything comes back to the night of the fire, the fire that stole the Richardson home, leaving only ashes and despair. Chronicling the intertwining lives of Elena Richardson (Reese Witherspoon) and Mia Warren (Kerry Washington), Little Fires Everywhere takes an intimate, frank look at the pains of motherhood and deeply-rooted division of race. 

    Mia Warren has been on the run as long as she can remember. Her world has been centered on her art and her daughter, Pearl; nothing else has mattered. But when she finds herself in the lush, affluent Shaker Heights, she meets the glamorous Elena and her seemingly perfect family. Working as their “house manager,” Mia and Elena share a confused friendship. Their lives are so very different, yet they both share a similar suffering, watching their children move on and no longer need them.

    Based on the bestselling novel by Celeste Ng, Little Fires Everywhere speaks to the secrets that distort our view of ourselves, the ones that lead us to run and hide, the ones that burn to the touch. Shocking, thrilling, and emotionally impactful, Hulu brings a series that not only entertains but speaks to important truths about race and parenting, ones often left out of the media. 

    Little Fires Everywhere seemed promising from the second the first trailer dropped. It appeared to have the same appeal and thrill of Big Little Lies, with shared producers and actresses. But this series was so much better in every way. While I loved (and binged) Big Little Lies, Little Fires Everywhere has so much more to offer. Rather than focusing on violence and sex, this series seems to be more sophisticated, unsettling to watch because of the truths it presents, graphically portraying the ways families fall apart, the ways we disappoint one another, and the true agony that can accompany parenting.

    Little Fires Everywhere had me cringing, laughing, and even crying at some points. While focusing on intense subject matter, I feel that this show is an educational experience as well as a perfect way to keep yourself entertained; it exposes what it means to be human, what it means to be loved. 

    Mia and Elena are so very different, yet they can’t seem to leave each other’s side. Both dependent on their children and struggling with their own demons, both women have to grapple with their own secrets and pain while trying to be as perfect as the manicured lawns in front of their homes. Painful, charming, and ultimately heart-breaking, Little Fires Everywhere takes an unflinching examination of women and society, secrets and lies, parenting and race. 

    Joshua Flores currently lives in Tustin, CA, and attends Arnold O. Beckman High School. When he is not busy doing homework or cramming for math tests, he can be found dreaming up ideas for his book, obsessing over YA fiction, attending book signings, or discovering new and exciting places in LA. He is currently an editor for the Entertainment section of The Beckman Chronicle and a contributing editor for the blog Food, Fitness and Fiction. Follow him on Instagram and on the blog Food, Fitness and Fiction to hear more about anything book related.

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