Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

74%

7 Critic Reviews

If Mrs. Richardson lacks the humanity and complexity that Ng granted to Marilyn Lee (the demanding, stern mother in Everything I Never Told You), this second novel is nevertheless an equally compelling read, starting with an equally breathtaking first sentence...
-NY Journal of Books

Synopsis

The runaway New York Times bestseller!

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, PasteKirkus ReviewsSt. 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 celesteng.com for discussion guides and more.
 

About Celeste Ng

See more books from this Author
Celeste Ng grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Shaker Heights, Ohio, in a family of scientists. She attended Harvard University and earned an MFA from the University of Michigan (now the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan), where she won the Hopwood Award. Her fiction and essays have appeared in One Story, TriQuarterly, Bellevue Literary Review, the Kenyon Review Online, and elsewhere, and she is the recipient of the Pushcart Prize. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with her husband and son.
 
Published September 12, 2017 by Penguin Press. 348 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Romance. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Critic reviews for Little Fires Everywhere
All: 7 | Positive: 6 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Excellent
on Jun 20 2017

With her second novel, Ng further proves she’s a sensitive, insightful writer with a striking ability to illuminate life in America.

Read Full Review of Little Fires Everywhere | See more reviews from Kirkus

NY Journal of Books

Good
Reviewed by Fran Hawthorne on Sep 11 2017

If Mrs. Richardson lacks the humanity and complexity that Ng granted to Marilyn Lee (the demanding, stern mother in Everything I Never Told You), this second novel is nevertheless an equally compelling read, starting with an equally breathtaking first sentence...

Read Full Review of Little Fires Everywhere | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

Star Tribune

Above average
Reviewed by Malcolm Forbes on Sep 08 2017

In places, Ng overdoes her fire-and-flames imagery. This niggle aside, she has crafted a deeply impressive novel with the power to provoke and entrance.

Read Full Review of Little Fires Everywhere | See more reviews from Star Tribune

LA Times

Good
Reviewed by Steph Cha on Sep 21 2017

Ng is a confident, talented writer, and it’s a pleasure to inhabit the lives of her characters and experience the rhythms of Shaker Heights through her clean, observant prose.

Read Full Review of Little Fires Everywhere | See more reviews from LA Times

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Eleanor Henderson on Sep 25 2017

The magic of this novel lies in its power to implicate all of its characters — and likely many of its readers — in that innocent delusion. Who set the little fires everywhere? We keep reading to find out, even as we suspect that it could be us with ash on our hands.

Read Full Review of Little Fires Everywhere | See more reviews from NY Times

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Sarah Crown on Nov 18 2017

This is a novel that convinces and compels; it’s a pleasure to read. If there’s a criticism to be made, it’s the same criticism Ng herself implicitly makes of Shaker Heights: that planning to excess can result in something that feels, finally, phony.

Read Full Review of Little Fires Everywhere | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Lionel Shriver on Nov 12 2017

But the world in which I read it would be indistinguishable from the one in which I didn’t. This is a variety of novel that unnerves me, because it’s extremely well done and yet I didn’t warm to it.

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Reader Rating for Little Fires Everywhere
86%

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