Little Fires Everywhere

Little Fires Everywhere

Book - 2017
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Mia Warren and her teenaged daughter Pearl rent a house from the Richardsons. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past, and a disregard for the rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Mrs. Richardson becomes determined to uncover the secrets in Mia's past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs to her own family - and Mia's. Celeste Ng explores the weight of long-held secrets and the ferocious pull of motherhood - and the danger of believing that planning and following the rules can avert disaster, or heartbreak.
Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, ©2017.
ISBN: 9780143135166
9780735224292
9780735224315
Characteristics: 338 pages ;,24 cm.

Opinion

From Library Staff

Elena Richardson's guiding principal is playing by the rules. Enter Mia Warren who arrives in the idyllic bubble of Shaker Heights with her 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 alluring mo... Read More »


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WPL_Erin May 13, 2021

I liked this a lot more than I thought I would. A really quick and intriguing read with a really interesting look at Mother/Daughter dynamics. Loved it!

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mls2
May 02, 2021

A good read

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SionaM
Apr 27, 2021

Everything in Shaker Heights is planned and there are rules that residents must follow. For example, houses can only be painted certain colors. When Mia Warren and her fifteen year old daughter, Pearl rent a home from the Richardson, a prominent Shaker Heights family – their lives will become intertwined in ways they never could have imagined. Mrs. Richardson liked to rent to people she felt were deserving of her help, people who may have had some tough turns in life. She felt it was her way of giving back. When she first meets Mia Warren and her daughter she thinks they are the perfect tenants. Mia is an artist and throughout Pearl’s life, they have been moving from place to place as Mia sells art. The Richardson family is immediately intrigued by them. Throughout the story, various stories are intertwined exploring how messy and complicated life is.. We see this story from Richardson family’s perspective, Mia’s perspective, Pearl’s perspective, and other characters.

There was a lot going on in “Little Fires Everywhere” but I found it easy to keep up. I will say that it had a bit of a slow start but I feel the author was setting the stage for all that was to come. And once I hit the halfway mark, I was so completely invested into all of their lives and had to know what was going to happen next. I thought that the development of the characters was fantastic. Even the secondary and tertiary characters were so detailed. With so many characters and a certain amount of pages, it takes skill to bring them all to life. This was an intriguing and compelling drama. A story about motherhood, adolescence, race, rules, right and wrong, and so much more. Great characters and an interesting plot made “Little Fires Everywhere” a fast and fantastic read.

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amahof7
Apr 26, 2021

Mia Warren, outre artist and Elena Richardson, uptight, society focussed, black and white re opinions about everything woman. How they live their lives and how their children are affected by their Mom’s decisions and behaviours. Good read.

a
aling0809
Apr 26, 2021

I just got around to reading this last summer, so I do realize I am quite late, but I firmly believe Little Fires Everywhere is a masterpiece.

Ng’s gorgeous writing weaves these two families’ lives together so beautifully and expertly. By the climax of the novel, the Richardsons and the Warrens are so closely intertwined in every aspect of their lives, it is almost as if you can feel each thread slowly coming loose and leading to that conclusion. That being said, this story has a multitude of moving parts, which makes each character equally as fascinating as the next. Where with some novels this might become confusing for the reader, Ng does so in a way that utterly captivates you and leaves you right in the middle of this incredible web of characters. Little Fires Everywhere is both an amazing and heartbreaking exploration of class, privilege, and race in the Midwest.

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mlhadley1
Apr 16, 2021

Recommended by Heather

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bsands814
Apr 07, 2021

I loved Little Fires Everywhere. It takes about a third of the book to build to the real plot point of the book, but I honestly didn’t care. Ng’s description of the characters and their lives have me truly fascinated. It could’ve been a road to nowhere and I would have gladly walked down it. Luckily it was not a road to nowhere. The discussion of race, family, life, and motherhood in particular were done in a way to make you both cringe and sympathize with each character. You walk away knowing nobody was fully right or wrong and that each one was trying to live their best/most authentic life from their point of view. I loved this book and will be recommending it to many people in the future.

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t_lynschm77
Mar 25, 2021

It has to be hard for an author when your book is added to a celebrity's read list. There is so much pressure and so much hype just because a well-known person said it was great. I think the hype (and the wait list) on this novel was overdone. It was a fine novel but all the hype made me wanting it to be more powerful, and it just wasn't. At times there was depth but for the most part, I found it to be a bit immature. I preferred the parts of the story that focused on the adults rather than the storyline of the teenagers. On a more positive note, the focus of idolizing perfection and order was an interesting theme, and sometimes you have to just burn it all down and start over. I am glad I read book. It did not drag on at all for me, I just wanted a little more from it.

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michellecharris
Jan 18, 2021

My least favorite book from Reese’s list. Very slow beginning. Took me 6 weeks to finish because it was so slow moving. Don’t waste your time on this one.

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fullhouse
Dec 18, 2020

The book is wonderfully written. A joy to read.
The author, Celeste Ng, raised questions and cause readers to think deeper about the different needs and perspectives of people of diverse social economic status, ethnic background, professions, and personalities.
The interactions(or conflict, to be truthful) between parents and their teens in this book are very interesting. The arguments from different angles about cross-racial adoption are intriquing, too. I adore the author's effort in tackling so many social issues in this book! Last but not least, many friends said the book is better than the TV seires. I agree. You can find out for yourself!

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Quotes

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a
ambdizzle
Aug 23, 2019

If a soul could leave a body, she thought, this is the sound it would make: like the screech of a nail being pulled from old wood.

t
TheresaAJ
May 07, 2019

"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 or quite right, and nothing to tell you for sure which side of the line you stood on."

t
TheresaAJ
May 07, 2019

"Like after a prairie fire. I saw one, years ago, when we were in Nebraska. It seems like the end of the world. The earth is all scorched and black and everything green is gone. But after the burning the soil is richer and new things can grow."

TheBookWitch Apr 14, 2018

"To a parent, your child wasn't just a person: your child was a place, a kind of Narnia, a vast eternal place where the present you were living and the past you remembered and the future you longed for all existed at once. You could see it every time you looked at her: layered in her face was the baby she'd been and the child she'd become and the adult she would grow up to be, and you saw them all simultaneously, like a 3-D image. It made your head spin. It was a place you could take refuge, if you knew how to get in. And each time you left it, each time your child passed out of your sight, you feared you might never be able to return to that place again." p. 122

ArapahoeMaryA Mar 15, 2018

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 are like that, too. They start over. They find a way.

c
cknightkc
Jan 30, 2018

“…his life had been divided into a before and an after, and he would always be comparing the two.” - p. 21

c
cknightkc
Jan 30, 2018

“All her life, she had learned that passion, like fire, was a dangerous thing. It so easily went out of control. It scaled walls and jumped over trenches. Sparks leapt like fleas and spread as rapidly; a breeze could carry embers for miles. Better to control that spark and pass it carefully from one generation to the next, like an Olympic torch. Or, perhaps, to tend it carefully like an eternal flame; a reminder of light and goodness that would never - could never - set anything ablaze. Carefully controlled. Domesticated. Happy in captivity. The key, she thought, was to avoid conflagration.” - p. 161

c
cknightkc
Jan 30, 2018

“Rules existed for a reason: if you followed them, you would succeed; if you didn't, you might burn the world to the ground.” - p. 161

c
cknightkc
Jan 30, 2018

“One had followed the rules, and one had not. But the problem with rules... was that they implied a right way and a wrong way to do things. When, in fact, most of the time they were simply ways, none of them quite wrong or quite right, and nothing to tell you for sure what side of the line you stood on.” - p. 269

c
cknightkc
Jan 30, 2018

“Sometimes, just when you think everything’s gone, you find a way… Like after a prairie fire… It seems like the end of the world. The earth is all scorched and black and everything green is gone. But after the burning the soil is richer, and new things can grow… People are like that, too, you know. They start over. They find a way.” - p. 295

Age Suitability

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SionaM
Apr 27, 2021

SionaM thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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karyn8787
Jul 31, 2020

karyn8787 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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Kristen MERKE
Mar 25, 2019

Kristen MERKE thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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coxkelsey72
Feb 27, 2019

coxkelsey72 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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Mya614
Mar 04, 2018

Mya614 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Notices

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coxkelsey72
Feb 27, 2019

Sexual Content: Teenage encounters, abortion

c
coxkelsey72
Feb 27, 2019

Coarse Language: Mild swearing

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