Little Fires Everywhere

Narrated by: Jennifer Lim
Length: 11 hrs and 27 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (282 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The New York Times Top 10 Best Seller

The brilliant new novel from the author of the New York Times best seller Everything I Never Told You.

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. In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned - from the layout of the winding roads to the colours 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 principal 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 just 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 rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.

When old family friends 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 an unexpected and devastating cost....

©2017 Celeste Ng (P)2017 Little, Brown Book Group

Critic Reviews

"I am loving Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. Maybe my favourite novel I've read this year." (John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars)
"Witty, wise and tender. It's a marvel." (Paula Hawkins)
"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)
What members say
Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Ultra boring story.

I think the story really had nothing in it - while there was so much scope to make really interesting characters, the book felt like such a failure. I think while the performer did a great job, there is little that can be done when the climax itself is so poor.
Don't waste your time.

2 people found this helpful

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stunning!

Loved this multi-layered story! Gorgeous narration too. Thoroughly enjoyable. Will make a great movie, I'm sure.

2 people found this helpful

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Loved this book!!!

Beautiful words, almost poetry at times giving words to my thoughts and feelings! A Masterpiece

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light reading

I liked this book , amidst the covid-19 epidemic I needed something light to read. kept me curious until the very last chapter , waiting for everything to unfold. sad though that life has to be that way, the rich het away with things, well it seems ...

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a bit american

passable but not monumental. will be quickly forgotten. very American. narration was overplayed. ok if you just want something to wash over you whilst you do something else.

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One of my all time favorites!

I could read this over and over! I would highly recommend it. Very similar to Big Little Lies and soon to be a mini series!

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Very enjoyable!

Loved the author's use of language! Interesting plot and multi-faceted characters. Would definitely recommend it.

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Beautiful story

Loved this book! Couldn't stop listening. The narration was excellent and the story beautiful and gripping

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riveting family drama

bit slow to start but well thought out family drama. enjoyed it and the performance was well read

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A gem!

It makes you rethink about what might be most important in one's life - we are all so like the Richardson's. Our society is. We all try to Fit our children into those mould... Thinking that is for the best, but who knows?

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  • Suswati
  • 11-11-17

An evocative and complex portrait of suburbia

A highly readable, wonderfully absorbing tale about motherhood, secrets and lies, set in the affluent, verdant perfection of Shaker Heights - a purpose built suburb on the edge of Cleveland, Ohio.

The plot centres around two families, the well-heeled, comfortably complacent Richardsons - mother, father and four children - and the hard-up Warrens, single mother Mia and her daughter Pearl, tenants of the Richardsons with little known past. In between is a tug-of-love court case surrounding an abandoned Chinese baby adopted by friends of the Richardsons. This sparks high and conflicting emotions in Shaker Heights, forcing the town to take sides between the baby's birth mother, a desperate Chinese immigrant, and the McCulloughs. It leads nearly into the unwanted revealing of well-concealed secrets for both the Warrens and the Richardsons.

The story is skilfully told, weaving various narratives together. It is a character-led tale, well observed. The novel opens at the end, as the Richardsons' perfect home burns to the ground then takes us back to the beginning when the Warrens first arrive. The plot picks up pace as events take their toll and deeds have dire consequences. Lives begin to unravel and skeletons are revealed, and perfection of the family structure splits apart. It is a multifaceted novel full of interesting dimensions.

27 people found this helpful

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  • Ms AC Blundy-Mortimer
  • 11-12-19

Simpering, Boring, Tepid

Couldn't finish this. Totally unconvincing in every way, hokey, cutesy, unbelievable, humourless, impossible to tell between the characters who all speak in the same simpering way, nightmarish reading like someone patronising a small child and complaining at the same time. Absolute hell to be in the car with this.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Fospot
  • 02-03-18

Lovely story

A lovely story of middle class American family life where everything appears perfect but is far from. If you like Liane Moriaty style of writing then this is for you .

7 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Julia
  • 11-17-17

Very enjoyable

Although the writing is thoughtful with lots of detailed descriptions, it is an absoulute pageturner; I finished it within a couple of days. It's very well written with a cleverly constructed plot which jumps backwards and forwards in time. The characters, although they are 'types', are believable and the book is very good at conveying their different viewpoints. An interesting story about motherhood, difficult life choices and race. Anyone who enjoys reading about complicated families and secrets should give this book a go. From the raving reviews in the press I expected slightly more, but overall I enjoyed it very much. It reminded me of books by Curtis Sittenfeld and Liane Moriarty.

9 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Miss L E Turvey
  • 01-18-18

Average

It’s an alright read, but it is a little self indulgent in places. All the characters felt faceless, vague and often unbelievable. And their world is hard to get lost in. Mostly I didn’t really care that much about anyone. Considering the good reviews I’d seen, I felt disappointed overall.

18 people found this helpful

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  • Mrs B.
  • 06-26-19

Loved this

If you struggle to connect with this book in the first chapters, give it chance. It’s really worth it.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mads Lund
  • 06-20-19

Best book I have read this year!

Don’t miss out on this book. So well written. One in a million. Just read it!

2 people found this helpful

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  • S Henderson
  • 04-21-18

One not to miss

A wonderful story of sadness, adolescence, love, fear and courage. So beautifully and delicately written. I enjoyed how the story urges the reader to realise that life is not right or wrong but extremely complicated. The characters seem to represent a different emotional type and Mia’s pictures help them understand themselves. I will be recommending this book to many people.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Linda M Steel
  • 11-26-17

Most enjoyable.

Likeable characters, good storyline, well written and a very enjoyable "listen" . No hesitation in recommending this book.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • MISS JACQUELINE BERRY
  • 04-19-18

Average. Became much better in the last quarter.

I personally found this book overly descriptive. At times, in the beginning, it felt like a bit of a chore getting through the chapters. In the last quarter of the book, however, it became more of a page turner because lot happened. I actually think the planned t.v. show will be better than the book, as it will move quicker.

4 people found this helpful

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  • B_R
  • 05-21-18

Entertaining but light on meaning

Little Fires Everywhere is a contemporary American story. It is full of secrets, school work and Diet Coke. Babies, teenagers and housewives. As a non-American, these inclusions are novel in my reading. Little Fires Everywhere tells the story of a mother and daughter who move unexpectedly to Shaker Heights and the intrigue that whirls around who they are and where they have come from. While the story is plot heavy and full of reveals, and therefore entertaining, it is a little light on meaning. Also the characters are quite stereotyped (snobby housewife, jock son, liberal single mom, poverty stricken immigrant ...). However, I think the book has a wide audience due to its tidy and relatable plot lines and satisfactory conclusions.

The narrator was excellent. She certainly portrayed the snobbery in Mrs Richardson's voice, the secrecy in Mia's and the desperation in Bebe Chow's.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Noinam
  • 06-17-18

Worth committing to

I found this story slow at first, really struggling or caring to listen to it. After a couple of hours however, I found myself interested and invested in each character. That is where LFE delivers - character development on a detailed level whereby the little fires, you realise, are life changing events that mold and influence the future of each person and family. Worth sticking to if, like me, you don't feel invested straight away. Reminded me of 'The Little Friend' by Donna Tartt, a slow and steady unravel.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Luna
  • 03-26-18

A tad too long for me

A semi-interesting listen however I found my concentration drifting at numerous times. I almost ceased listening however persevered until the end.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-05-18

A great listen!

Really loved this book and writing style. Such an easy listen, that I wasn't ready to let go of the characters when it finished.

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-22-18

One of those "what was the point of that" books.

Persevered to the end hoping something was going to happen. One of those "what was the point of that" books.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-08-18

What a wonderful book

A great book beautifully narrated by Jennifer Lim.
Highly recommend ‘Little Fires Everywhere’, looking forward to reading another book by Celeste Ng

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-20-18

Couldn't stop listening

A touching and cleverly woven story that I didn't want to end. Really enjoyed the narrator's style and change in voice for the characters.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-27-17

ok

it tends to drag a little bit. the story isn't very relatable to everyday people. but it was still entertaining enough to keep listening.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-07-20

Predictable

Average storyline. Little substance. Characters annoying and gossipy. Not sure if the target audience when most of the book was set around teenagers

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-02-20

Great read lots of twists and turns

Great story lots of twists and turns looking forward to seeing how the mini series matches it