I like Reese Witherspoon a lot. In fact, my obsession with Celeste Ng’s work began a couple of years ago when I read Little Fires Everywhere after Witherspoon optioned it (and I immediately read Everything I Never Told You afterward). Ng is now one of my favorite authors, and Witherspoon — to her credit — has managed to promote a lot of worthwhile novels specifically about the racism of well-intentioned white people. In fact, I just finished Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid — another Reese Witherspoon book club pick — about the attempts of well-meaning white people to butt into the life of a Black woman (it’s actually thematically similar to Little Fires Everywhere). Looking at all of Witherspoon’s book picks, I’m a little embarrassed by how many of them I have read, although they have all been at least “pretty good,” except for two, one of which was so terrible that I won’t mention which it is (the Megan Miranda one is the other, and it was just OK). All the same, Witherspoon — or her people — are very good at curating book picks.
I also applaud Witherspoon for recognizing her strengths as an actress. She does privileged women perfectly (see also Big Little Lies), and Little Fires Everywhere feels like it was made for middle-career Witherspoon, who also produced alongside Kerry Washington. This is who the Election character grows up to be. It looks phenomenal, and you still have a couple of months to read the book before the series comes out.
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