Little Fires Everywhere

Little Fires Everywhere

A Novel

Book - 2017
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From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, the intertwined stories of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the mother and daughter who upend their lives "I read Little Fires Everywhere in a single, breathless sitting. With brilliance and beauty, Celeste Ng dissects a microcosm of American society just when we need to see it beneath the microscope ..."--Jodi Picoult, New York Times -bestselling author of Small Great Things and Leaving Time 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.
Publisher: New York :, Penguin Press,, 2017
ISBN: 9780735224292
0735224293
Characteristics: 338 pages ; 24 cm

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a
abcDena
May 27, 2018

This is more of a rant than a review.

I really loved Celeste Ng's first novel, Everything I Never Told You. That was a solid 5-star read. I couldn't put it down or stop talking about it. This one? I guess it could've been good, but I was mostly bored stiff by the characters, who ran together because they were so poorly defined, and the plot that went NOWHERE. I don't need action, car chases and shooting scenes, but something. Something that makes you want to keep reading to find out who-what-why-where...none of that. Another thing: stop masking teen novels as "Adult Fiction" and duping unsuspecting ADULT READERS. It's annoying picking up a book that is labeled adult fiction, only to be told one long, endless story about a bunch of teenagers.

I. Don't. Care.

m
m0mmyl00
May 23, 2018

Two life philosophies collide sometimes, coexist sometimes in the families of the upscale, established Richardsons and the avant gard artistic Warrens. The Richardsons are privileged residents of Shaker Heights, where there is a rule for everything — written or understood — and every rule is followed. The Warrens are an art-photographer mother and her daughter, who never live in one place more than 6 months and never follow anyone else’s rules. Maybe there’s a little of the other side in some of the children; they find some their sense of belongness and justice in the others’ ways. They are tested when one of the Richardson’s friends adopts an Asian baby, a baby whose bereft mother Mia Warren knows. Justice, love, family — all such concrete concepts — become not so easy to define when viewed from the other’s side.

j
janetnorm
May 09, 2018

Rather slow and boring.

mko123 May 08, 2018

A picture perfect family gets entangled with a struggling artist and her daughter. The upper middle class mrs.richardson tells herself she doing an unselfish thing when she hires artist Mia to clean her house. But oh what tangled webs we weave when ourselves we do deceive. Great page turner.

a
agoldsby
May 06, 2018

Amazing! I was stuck from page one. Celeste Ng crafted such layered characters. Shaker Heights really shook up my world. I did not want to put this book down. And although I was judging each and every one of the characters, I found it was impossible to stay angry or stay judgmental because like every one of us - they were all just doing the best they could with what they knew at the time. I loved the fast pace of the book and the different perspectives presented through each character's eyes. I am definitely a fan of Celeste Ng's writing and will now go back to read Everything I Never Told You.

DBRL_DanaS Apr 30, 2018

A well-crafted narrative, the plot pieces all came together well in the end, and is a nice demonstration of the complexities of mother-daughter relationships. The major issue I take with the book is that all or almost all of the characters feel totally one-dimensional, like concepts rather than people. I think this was intentional to some extent -- referring to Elena Richardson as Mrs. Richardson most of the time is a likely example, but still I had a hard time connecting with most of the characters as they felt largely like devices for the narrative, names on a page rather than actual fleshed-out people.

s
star2014
Apr 30, 2018

As a rule, I do not read books on best seller lists. I thought I would give this book a try after all the rave reviews. After about 150 pages, I called it quits. The characters seemed very stereotypical, and somewhat shallow. I also found the authors almost archaeological descriptions of Shaker Heights monotonous.
Obviously, not a read for me...

v
vmeehan
Apr 20, 2018

Didn’t have any expectations before reading this one. Found it a good read and definite page turner. I wasn’t sure at first as the Richardson family seemed very stereotyped and unimaginative characters but as I read on I found I could relate to the teenage Richardson children as it was set in the late nineties when I too was 17/18 years old - references to Ricky Lake, Jerry Springer and songs of the late nineties. Now being a mother I also related to the mother characters as it explored what lengths mothers would go to keep their children.

GSPLjodie Apr 20, 2018

I really enjoyed this book and the author's writing style. Gives a perspective on the lives of many characters and how they learn to cope (or not cope) with each other. Will appeal to those who like an open-ended book.

s
singasong70
Apr 17, 2018

Choose your adviser, choose your advice.
Mia comforting Lexie..." it'll be okay,"( when "it's" never "ok" really), gets you thro for now.
Underlying philosophy seems to be: no one's "mature" in all this, men more or less absent in the story, minor characters if you ask me.

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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

AL_MARYA 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

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Mya614
Mar 04, 2018

Mya614 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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