In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned–from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.
Enter Mia Warren–an enigmatic artist and single mother–who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.
I had slight mixed feelings about this book when I first started it. For the first hundred pages I wasn’t really into it. I found it quite slow to get into the storyline but as it went on I realised that was because there wasn’t just one story- there was multiple stories going on which all connected to a theme of family. The whole book focused on different families and how this town viewed families they saw as imperfect. It ended slightly abruptly and we didn’t get a conclusive end to some characters’ stories. I didn’t really mind that though because it made sense in the context of the story. I would definitely recommend this book!