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Publisher's Summary

A Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick

The runaway New York Times best seller! 

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)

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. 

Perfect for book clubs! Visit celesteng.com for discussion guides and more.

©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

Overall

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Story

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

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. 👎🏼

472 of 521 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

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?

390 of 448 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

68 of 78 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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.

73 of 85 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Sophomoric!

Sophomoric. No plot till halfway through the book. Description of the artworks interesting. Waste of time.

59 of 69 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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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.

69 of 81 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Dana
  • Berkeley
  • 07-11-18

Just OK

First 3/4 of the book is mind numbingly slow. I very nearly gave up but wanted to just see if it could redeem itself. The end was good, if a little cliche. Narrator is just OK, a little to "chipper" at times that I would have read as more serious.

15 of 17 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.

58 of 69 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Like yarn unspooling into a tangled pile

At the start of the story, Ng presents you, the reader, with a pile of tangled, messy yarn, making you wonder how it could have ended up this way. Then she takes you back and sets each of the characters before you, like neatly wound balls of yarn. Over the course of the story, she steadily and deliberately unspools each ball until you reach the end and realize this is not just some tangled mess, but a colorful, complicated design that could not have turned out any other way.
I appreciated how the characters came to life, each imperfect in his or her own way, and how there was no simple right or wrong answer to each conflict that arose. Ng’s descriptions of the art and photography throughout the novel was also so evocative, I felt like I could truly see and understand not just the art itself, but the artist.
This is not the type of book that has you feverishly turning pages. Rather, it is a book where the author ties a piece of yarn around you and steadily pulls you forward, page by page, until before you know it, you’ve reached the inevitable, yet satisfying conclusion.
The narrator is also terrific.

32 of 38 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • MJD
  • Tennessee
  • 07-09-18

Slow slow slow

I honestly stopped listening to this book sometime in chapter 11. I was so bored that it was driving me crazy so I decide it was time to move on. So much time is spent on little details so that mattered and some were pointless. The story then seemed to change and it was like I was listening to a different book all together. This was when the situation about the adoption came up... I’m honestly can’t see the hype this book has received.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful