Little Fires Everywhere

Little Fires Everywhere

A Novel

eBook - 2017
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Soon to be a Hulu limited series, starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington
eBook includes special materials for book clubs: a Q&A with Celeste Ng and John Green, a letter from Celeste Ng, and book club discussion questions.
Named a Best Book of the Year by:
People, The Washington Post, Bustle, Esquire, Southern Living, The Daily Beast, GQ, Entertainment Weekly, NPR, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Audible, Goodreads, Library Reads, Book of the Month, Paste, Kirkus Reviews, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and many more!

"I read Little Fires Everywhere in a single, breathless sitting." –Jodi Picoult
"To say I love this book is an understatement. It's a deep psychological mystery about the power of motherhood, the intensity of teenage love, and the danger of perfection. It moved me to tears." - Reese Witherspoon
"I am loving Little Fires Everywhere. Maybe my favorite novel I've read this year."—John Green
"Witty, wise, and tender. It's a marvel." – Paula Hawkins
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives.
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.
When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town—and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia's past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs.
Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, and the ferocious pull of motherhood – and the danger of believing that following the rules can avert disaster.
Perfect for book clubs! Visit for discussion guides and more.
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group


From the critics

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Jul 15, 2019

Sorry. I like my stories to move faster. This wore me out. Too much teenage angst.
I started skimming at page 60 and closed the book up at page 153. Maybe I didn't try
long enough......there were a few good incidents in those 150 pages but ……

Jul 14, 2019

A wildly entertaining read. My only complaint was that certain characters and storylines lacked depth. I wanted more emotional depth in several instances. But overall, I loved the tangled web of relationships that Ng created throughout this novel.

Jul 13, 2019

This book SHOOK me. I went into this with both high and low expectations. This book is a bestseller and I've seen it literally every time I go book shopping, whether it's a poster or it's displayed or something, it's always there. So that should've gotten me hype and it did but since I tried reading this as an ebook a year or so ago (before I really got into reading again) and didn't really enjoy the part of it I read then, I was still expecting those same feelings. NOPE. I ended up loving this.

IndyPL_KatieF Jul 07, 2019

This book was one I found difficult to put down. I wanted to learn more about these characters and how their past informed the present. With so many interesting characters, secrets and subplots, I was not disappointed.

Jul 06, 2019

I think Ng is clearly a gifted and very skilled writer. There is an immediacy to her work that enables me to feel (at times uncomfortably) like I'm lurking in a corner observing her scene and characters. As in Everything I Never Told You, the cast of variably flawed characters is presented to the reader with no judgment, but trust me, I did plenty of judgment on my own. This is the story of a very satisfied family living in a midwest gated community and a vagabond artist single mother and her teenaged daughter move into the neighborhood. That's all the plot synopsis I'm going to give; discover this story on your own. You're in for a chewy, infuriating, emotive read from very capable hands.

Jun 15, 2019

What an amazing story! The characters are so real, so vivid. It is filled with complex family dynamics. It explores the gray areas of life. The hard decisions people have to make. Where there is no right or wrong choice. Simply a choice.

Jun 09, 2019

On the surface , an easy but compelling yarn
That challenges the myths of motherhood and the ancient conflict
Between nature and nurture.
In this novel , characters upend the cliche of choosing ‘your’ friends, but not
‘your ‘family.
A seemingly topical novel in a country torn apart by reproductive rights and the discussion over who owns them.

Merle Taylor
Jun 03, 2019

Good read.

May 18, 2019

Fail to see the value of this slow, plodding story. I rarely abandon a book mid-read but life is too short to read books without compelling reason. I lived and worked in the Shaker Hts. community for decades and thus found myself just giving up on the book and searching for streets and places familiar to me. The author makes too much of the "perfect, utopian community"'s not really all that.

May 07, 2019

Little Fires Everywhere is a perfect title for this slow-paced character study of the Richardson family whose lives are upended by their artistic renter Mia Warren. As Ng explores the dynamics between these two families, she also scratches beneath the surface of the placid, utopian-like Shaker Heights, Ohio. The story opens with a fire which is never fully put out or its motive discovered until the last chapter. The rest of the story is filled out as Ng plumbs the depths of decisions made and their unexpected results. This is the May 2019 selection of the Willa Cather Book Club.

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May 07, 2019

"But the problem with rules, he reflected, was that they implied a right way and a wrong way to do things. When, in fact, most of the time there were simply ways, none of them quite wrong or quite right, and nothing to tell you for sure which side of the line you stood on."

May 07, 2019

"Like after a prairie fire. I saw one, years ago, when we were in Nebraska. It seems like the end of the world. The earth is all scorched and black and everything green is gone. But after the burning the soil is richer and new things can grow."

TheBookWitch Apr 14, 2018

"To a parent, your child wasn't just a person: your child was a place, a kind of Narnia, a vast eternal place where the present you were living and the past you remembered and the future you longed for all existed at once. You could see it every time you looked at her: layered in her face was the baby she'd been and the child she'd become and the adult she would grow up to be, and you saw them all simultaneously, like a 3-D image. It made your head spin. It was a place you could take refuge, if you knew how to get in. And each time you left it, each time your child passed out of your sight, you feared you might never be able to return to that place again." p. 122

ArapahoeMaryA Mar 15, 2018

Sometimes you need to scorch everything to the ground, and start over. After the burning the soil is richer, and new things can grow. People are like that, too. They start over. They find a way.

Jan 30, 2018

“…his life had been divided into a before and an after, and he would always be comparing the two.” - p. 21

Jan 30, 2018

“All her life, she had learned that passion, like fire, was a dangerous thing. It so easily went out of control. It scaled walls and jumped over trenches. Sparks leapt like fleas and spread as rapidly; a breeze could carry embers for miles. Better to control that spark and pass it carefully from one generation to the next, like an Olympic torch. Or, perhaps, to tend it carefully like an eternal flame; a reminder of light and goodness that would never - could never - set anything ablaze. Carefully controlled. Domesticated. Happy in captivity. The key, she thought, was to avoid conflagration.” - p. 161

Jan 30, 2018

“Rules existed for a reason: if you followed them, you would succeed; if you didn't, you might burn the world to the ground.” - p. 161

Jan 30, 2018

“One had followed the rules, and one had not. But the problem with rules... was that they implied a right way and a wrong way to do things. When, in fact, most of the time they were simply ways, none of them quite wrong or quite right, and nothing to tell you for sure what side of the line you stood on.” - p. 269

Jan 30, 2018

“Sometimes, just when you think everything’s gone, you find a way… Like after a prairie fire… It seems like the end of the world. The earth is all scorched and black and everything green is gone. But after the burning the soil is richer, and new things can grow… People are like that, too, you know. They start over. They find a way.” - p. 295

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Kristen MERKE
Mar 25, 2019

Kristen MERKE thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Feb 27, 2019

coxkelsey72 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Mar 04, 2018

Mya614 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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Feb 27, 2019

Sexual Content: Teenage encounters, abortion

Feb 27, 2019

Coarse Language: Mild swearing


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