Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Six titles featuring adoptions gone awry

R.J. Hoffmann was born and raised in St. Louis and received an MFA in fiction from Columbia College Chicago. Hoffmann’s writing has appeared in Barely South Review, The Sun, Harpur Palate, The Roanoke Review, Booth, and Lunch Ticket. He is the winner of The Madison Review’s 2018 Chris O’Malley Prize for Fiction and a finalist for The Missouri Review’s 2019 Jeffrey E. Smith Editors Prize. He lives in Elmhurst, Illinois with his wife and two children.

At CrimeReads Hoffmann tagged six books featuring adoptions gone awry, including:
Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng

The novel opens with the Richardson house ablaze from an apparent arson. Accelerant was employed. Little fires were set throughout the house. The themes of race, privilege, and family serve as kindling for the story. In the background, an immigrant from China first abandons her infant daughter in desperation, and then struggles to regain custody from the wealthy, white friends of the Richardsons who have adopted her. The whole town of Shaker Heights, Ohio weighs in, and the adoptive family applies all the leverage that money can buy. Meanwhile, in the foreground, Elena Richardson serves as a surrogate mother for Pearl Warren, while her own daughter, Izzy finds a surrogate in Pearl’s mother, Mia. Both women chafe, even as Ng slow-burns a literal surrogacy crisis.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Little Fires Everywhere is among Amy Stuart's five thrilling novels with deeply flawed fictional characters you’ll learn to appreciate as you turn the pages and Kate Hamer's top ten teenage friendships in fiction.

--Marshal Zeringue