All In Good Storytime

category: Literature

Page Fifty--It's Been Always Burning Since the World's Been Turning

11/28/2018


In the 50th anniversary episode of All in Good Storytime, we read chapters 7-12 of "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng. In these chapters we see a connection develop between Mia and Izzy, watch as absolute chaos unfolds in the local high school, see the confrontation between Bebe Chow and the McCulloughs over Mirabelle McCullough/May Ling Chow, and learn about Mia's past as a surrogate.

We begin by discussing the futility of Izzy, Moody, and Pearl's prank on the high school. Instead of rising to the challenge of Mia's question asking Izzy what she was going to do regarding a racist teacher in high school she decided to pull a useless prank, sticking toothpicks in all of the locks and jamming the doors, which caused more harm for the janitor and only unintentionally caused the racist teacher to suffer.

We continue by addressing the finally revealed main plot of Bebe Chow, a poor and young single mother who left her daughter at a fire station, and her struggle to get her daughter back from the rich, white McCulloughs who have raised her for the past 10 months and who are currently in the process of adopting her. We find it exceedingly difficult to focus on the issues the author raises of cultural differences and the question of whether it is better to live with a financially stable family as we are focused on the problem that Bebe willingly left her child at a safe haven location and none of those lofty arguments matter as much as the fact of no take backs. Additionally, we question why this story isn't being told from the perspective of the McCulloughs and Bebe but instead is being told from the perspective of Mia and Mrs. Richardson who are using this difficult custody case to work out their own personal issues. Finally, we see that Katya was right all along. We question the legality and morality behind Mia running away with Pearl, a child she was carrying as a surrogate.

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