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Little Fires Everywhere

by Celeste Ng

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,5312891,416 (4.02)180
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, the intertwined stories of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the mother and daughter who upend their lives "I read Little Fires Everywhere in a single, breathless sitting. With brilliance and beauty, Celeste Ng dissects a microcosm of American society just when we need to see it beneath the microscope ..."--Jodi Picoult, New York Times -bestselling author of Small Great Things and Leaving Time 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.… (more)
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» See also 180 mentions

English (286)  German (2)  Finnish (1)  All languages (289)
Showing 1-5 of 286 (next | show all)
Well written book, the pace engaging, keeps the readers interested till the end. The characters are well developed and you develop a sense of familiarity with all of them ( )
  Islandmum84 | Jul 28, 2021 |
"Most of the time, everyone deserves more than one chance. We all do things we regret now and then. You just have to carry them with you." This idea animates the plot and character development in this magnificent book and is something I think we all need to keep in mind. All of us do things we regret. ALL OF US. Those who deny that basic fact about themselves find it easy to judge others harshly and with no sense of hypocrisy. We allow this to happen at our peril as a civilization. I'm a very rules bound person, I think that rules that apply equally to everyone make the world a definable and livable place. But sometimes the rules are "broken" for reasons that need to inform your view, think of the difference between someone stealing a loaf of bread to feed their family versus bankers embezzling funds to just live a more disgustingly ostentatious lifestyle. Motive matters. Circumstances matter. Everything matters. As Ms. Ng writes, "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 ore quite right, and nothing to tell you for sure which side of the line you stood on." The real word is not black and white, it is shades of gray. I was amazed at how the plot moved around in this book, nothing is out of place but much is not predictable. I found myself totally invested in the characters in the book. I was eager to see where things went and cared deeply both when bad things happened and good things. I found the breadth of the novel breathtaking and yet it went fast and I wanted more. A great book. ( )
  MarkMad | Jul 14, 2021 |
fiction (human drama - family dynamics, impulsive parents and teenagers, custody battles in ultra-planned suburban community of Shaker Heights, OH where the author grew up circa 1990s).

Layered plot, lots of intricate, interesting bits. ( )
  reader1009 | Jul 3, 2021 |
I was just speechless after I finished this book. I mean I can get how this might be a complete ending to people, but for me it was really incomplete because there were so many threads left open!?!??!?Ok we are entering into spoiler territory:I wanted Izzy to end up with Pearl and Mia, I was so sad she didn't meet up with them, and I wanted Mrs. Richardson to find out about Lexie, even though I shouldn't?

And I wanted Bebe to get her baby back, but I also wanted Mirabelle to stay with a more secure home like the McCulloughs.

And I really thought Mrs Richardson was the villain in the Izzy-Mom thing, but my feelings definitely changed after we found out about Izzy's childhood. I didn't forgive her completely, but I was definitely hating her less.

And I was just so confused by my feelings about the concept of motherhood which this book explored, which, being a sixteen year old girl, I don't have many of.

I loved the exploration into Mia's character, and that made me have even more conflicting feelings about this book.

All that being said, I wanted some story arcs to be complete, like the story arc of the Ryans. I wanted to know what happened to them. I wanted to see Pearl meeting the Ryans, though not if it wasn't going to end well. I wanted to see Mia reconciling with her parents. I wanted to see Lizzie telling her mom, and both of them growing closer over it. Maybe Lizzie and Brian(?) getting together again (though I have mixed feelings about this one). I wanted to know what happened in the school after the prank, more than what I was told. I wanted to see Moody slowly becoming friends with Pearl again, Pearl apologising for lying, and maybe Moody for wanting and expecting too much out of their friendship(this one I'm not sure of).

This book made me reassess the concept of motherhood. And I recommend it to anyone who thinks motherhood is easy. It's not. ( )
  trisha_tomy | Jun 1, 2021 |
I loved [b:Everything I Never Told You|18693763|Everything I Never Told You|Celeste Ng|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1386795198l/18693763._SY75_.jpg|26542311] so I had high expectations for Little Fires Everywhere. And Celeste Ng did not disappoint.

I don't usually enjoy the omniscient narrator but it was done so well here that I couldn't help but be drawn in to the lives of all of the characters. Ng puts these people on display for us like very few authors could. Their darkest bits and their hopes - she lays them bare. I need more time to digest this book and I felt the same after Ng's debut.

Now I wait for the next book. ( )
  amcheri | May 25, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 286 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ng, Celesteprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lim, JenniferNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Whether you buy a homesite in the School Section, broad acres in the Shaker Country Estates, or one of the houses offered by this company in a choice of neighborhoods, your purchase includes facilities for golf, riding, tennis, boating; it includes in unexcelled schools; it includes protection forever against depreciation and unwelcome change.
---Advertisement, The Van Sweringen Company,
Creators and Developers of a Shaker Village
Actually, though, all things considered, people from Shaker Heights are pretty much like people everywhere else in America. They may have three or four cars instead of one or two, and they may have two television sets instead of one, and when a Shaker Heights girl gets married she may have a reception for eight hundred, with the Meyer Davis band flown in from New York, instead of a wedding reception for a hundred with a local band, but these are all differences of degree rather than fundamental differences. "We're friendly people and we have a wonderful time!" Said a woman at the Shaker Heights Country Club recently, and she was right, for the inhabitants of Utopia do, in fact, appear to lead a rather happy life.
---"The Good Life in Shaker Heights," Cosmopolitan, March 1963
Dedication
To those out on their own paths, setting little fires
First words
Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down.
Quotations
Remember, Mia had said: 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's are like that, too.  They start over.  They find a way.
"Some pictures, " Mia said, " belong to the person who took them.  And some belong to the person inside them...."
Every bedroom was empty except for the smell of gasoline and a small crackling fire set directly in the middle of each bed, as if a demented Girl Scout had been camping there.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, the intertwined stories of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the mother and daughter who upend their lives "I read Little Fires Everywhere in a single, breathless sitting. With brilliance and beauty, Celeste Ng dissects a microcosm of American society just when we need to see it beneath the microscope ..."--Jodi Picoult, New York Times -bestselling author of Small Great Things and Leaving Time 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.

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