Celeste Ng expertly captures the nuances of economic disparity in the planned community of Shaker Heights, and if we’re being real, in the United States today. Character development, pacing, and storyline are masterfully executed and I found this story difficult to put down.
Artist, Mia Warren and her teenage daughter, Pearl, move to the suburban community, Shaker Heights. Never living anywhere for long, Mia promises Pearl that they will stay rooted in the seemingly idyllic community where her daughter craves stability and an opportunity to be a “normal” teenager. Renting from the poised, albeit repressed Elena Richardson, Mia and Pearl become a source of fascination to the four Richardson children, intermingling the two families’ lives in unexpected and shocking ways.
Drowning under the weight of expectations–societal and familial, characters in this story are forced to contend with the hypocrisy of status-quo and its oft-devastating effects on the underprivileged.
The ending left me shooketh and the karma is REAL.
I thought it was fabulous and can’t wait for the Hulu series with Kerry Washington (Mia Warren) and Reese Witherspoon (Elena Richardson) as the lead characters. I’m giving it 5 stars.