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Publisher's Summary

From the best-selling 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 teenage 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.

©2017 Celeste Ng (P)2017 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Witty, wise, and tender. It's a marvel." (Paula Hawkins, New York Times best-selling author of The Girl on the Train and Into the Water)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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  • Story

Boring and Drawn Out!!!

Kept falling asleep while listening, but was determined to finish it, especially due to all the hype over this audiobook. The story never got any better, and the ending was ridiculous! Really wish I could understand why there are so many great reviews. What are people seeing, that I just don't? As for the narration, J.L. did a pretty good job of performing each of the characters, though she did not use different voices or inflections for them. She basically used the same voice during the whole story. Sadly, I would definitely recommend passing this one up, and not wasting your time on it. 👎🏼

105 of 113 people found this review helpful

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Let Me Stop You Right There

To me, this book was written by an author who believes that her listeners are as thick as two planks. Further, the tone of the narrator adds to the unbelievably slick and condescending flavor of the whole package. Everything is so slowly drawn out and hammered down that there is no room for any personal thought or feelings the reader might dare to have. I'm bored. Are we there yet?

131 of 146 people found this review helpful

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Out of Focus

Reminded me much of The Nest. Where the entire book talk about random life facts of the characters without much passion or meaning. True, characters go thru traumatic experiences, but nothing reliable or meant to connect with the reader/listener. The story (or many different stories) did not touch my heart, or made me smile, or cry, nor excite. It was simply a story of the life of different families and their struggles. Not even sure why this is a best seller. Good books are supposed to ignite unexpected feelings for its reader, keep you excited and passionate about its characters, and leave you wanting more.

25 of 28 people found this review helpful

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Good after first half

It took a while to get into this book and I had to start over to figure out all the pieces but about halfway through it started getting good and I was hooked!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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little epiphanies everywhere

Another thoughtful and thought-provoking book by Celeste Ng. I loved her first book, and didn't imagine that this one could be as good, but it is. This is a sensitive and nuanced look at motherhood, social class and race. She does not let her characters or her plot off with easy answers, or with good guys and bad guys. Even though each character seems to be somewhat of a "type" initially, as the narrative deepens we see how multifaceted each participant in this story is and I found myself feeling more and more empathy for each of them as the story developed. Lovely and evocative book that I didn't want to end. I listened to this as an audiobook (from Audible) and thought the narrator was perfect.

18 of 21 people found this review helpful

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Conformity vs. thinking for yourself

Celeste Ng covers a lot of ground in Little Fires Everywhere - conformity vs. thinking for yourself, motherhood, relationships, secrets, lies, culture, ethnicity, creativity, economic safety vs. barely getting by, family dynamics, and privilege. There really are little fires everywhere, both literal and figurative. Like Everything I Never Told You, this story opens at the end and then the author tells an engrossing tale to explain how it all unfolded. Ng has an extraordinary ability to make the reader consider a story from different perspectives through her well-developed and complicated characters. Even the setting of Shaker Heights, planned, manicured, and with rules for everything, contributes to the narrative.

Some of the parts that I found most exceptional were the descriptions of Mia Warren's art. The character captured so much in her photographs, and Ng captured so much in her writing about them. I'm going to be thinking about this book and those photographs for quite a while.

39 of 48 people found this review helpful

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Unpredictable

This story contains lots of twists and turns. Captivating. Love this author's attitude and zest!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Wendi
  • Houston, TX
  • 09-14-17

I Actually Pre-Ordered This.. Never Again

I was really looking forward to 'Little Fires Everywhere' by Celeste Ng. The day my pre-order was available I immediately downloaded and started to listen. I listened for two hours and I thought 'there has to be more than this.'

I listened for another three hours. The book is about a neighbourhood and kids' pranks and a woman's job and how some people pay bills. Okay, maybe there is some deep symbolism I am missing. However, I don't care. This book is boring, tedious, and I dare to say it's a YA book- however the YA audience would find it boring too.

I am returning this dud. Even the narrator sounds like a little child. The characters are disjointed, the plot is all over the place and the whole book pretty much sucks. Urgh.

Audible, I will need this credit back.

-Wendi

93 of 129 people found this review helpful

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An Entertaining, Clever Novel

The triumph of Celeste Ng’s novel is the clever weaving together of multiple storylines and a large cast of characters. Her use of omniscience is impressive and effective. The story becomes increasingly tense and suspenseful and she ties everything together thematically without answering all questions raised. I can see why the book is such a hit. Thoughtful and intelligent, but also a good entertaining read. Jennifer Lim’s reading is perfection. Clear, swift, nuanced but subtle. I wish she had recorded more books.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Just okay

I was a bit disappointed. I was looking forward to the release of this book because I enjoyed the first book so much. The story could have had more depth and there were times I had to force myself to finish the book.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful