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Little Fires Everywhere

(10 customer reviews)


by Celeste Ng


The #1 New York Times bestseller!

Now a Hulu original series starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington.

**“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

“Extraordinary . . . books like Little Fires Everywhere don’t come along often.” —John Green**


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About this book

410 Pages
8 - 9 Hours to read
111k Total words


The #1 New York Times bestseller!

Now a Hulu original series starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington.

**“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

“Extraordinary . . . books like Little Fires Everywhere don’t come along often.” —John Green**

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.

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…

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

Additional information


Hardcover, Paperback

10 reviews for Little Fires Everywhere

  1. M. Russo

    I bought this based on the rave reviews. Half way through it I went back to check if I’d missed that it was YA. This whole book could’ve been a short story without losing a thing. It’s been padded with uninteresting side plots, rambling, unnecessary back stories and more banal information about Shaker Heights than you can shake a stick at, not to mention photography. Without giving anything away, the topic is ageless and polarizing. Greek plays have been written on it. But, in this book it’s presented over halfway through via characters other than what the first half of the book went on and on about. Unfortunately, the writing does not make up for any of this. I think teenage girls would enjoy it. I did not.

  2. Robin K

    I closed this book shaking my head with mild confusion and disappointment. Instead of attempting to satisfactorily tie up the plot and corresponding plot lines, the author abandons readers with numerous unanswered questions–almost as though she’d been forced to put down the pencil at the end of the allocated time. Ms. Ng does a very credible job of developing a group of characters and getting the reader invested in their various plights in this Suburban Utopia, but at the end of it all, it’s impossible to say that a single one of those characters underwent any meaningful change. Or any change at all! Nope. The story ends without any real resolution–which is an enormous negative. Of course, the author has selected a very full compliment of social injustices to inflict upon these characters: abortion, surrogate parenting, interracial adoption, interracial relationships, same gender relationships, oppressed immigrant versus governmental authority, as well as the “haves versus the have-nots”–all make a token appearance. Unfortunately, this ends up feeling contrived and very artificial, since none of characters undergo any meaningful growth or experience any new insight, at least not within the bounds of the book. I can understand the author’s desire to make her book socially relevant by focusing on any of society’s current hot button topics, but readers need to experience the ways that her characters change and grow due to the impact of those issues. When a story line is introduced, it needs to be followed through to some type of resolution, not just abandoned or ignored. I feel like I’m missing the second half of the book!

  3. L. Gazzana

    I really can’t understand the hype of this book! Reading what I felt a middle school child wrote I was so bored with the shallow character development and overall story. Almost giving up I plodded along and it never got better. The end was just as disappointing as the beginning. Don’t bother…..

  4. Elisa

    Surprising that this book was so highly rated and recommended. The author’s basic Manichean view of society where rich and American are bad and intrinsically evil vs Bohemian life styles & Asian cultures as good, authentic and the only right way, was annoying to say the least. Her elevation of “motherhood” as the ultimate goal and “the” avenue for true realization of a woman was cliche and trite. This story sadly read as a basic stringing of set cliche characters and story lines to promote the author’s agenda and very limiting POV.An easy read but not a lot of depth or nuance. This book is a bit like Big Little Lies, but not as well written and the characters/stories not as artfully developed.

  5. Kindle Customer

    I read the entire book but was sorry I did. Mia was made to be a hero, but I have no idea why. She was as lost and confused as Mrs. Richardson . Not only were the characters unrealistic the same could be said for the storyline.

  6. Tam

    I hadn’t read a fiction book in and while and I saw this book listed on just about every recommendation.I am not even going to go into specific details about the book because I do not want to spoil it a bit for anyone—you just need to read it.I will say that between 20-100 pages, it was a little slow to read because there is A LOT of character building and detail BUT that pays off and it is necessary to the story and everything just falls into place.When you read this book, you are watching a story unfold and it’s thrilling and exciting. It’s such a great book. The storyline is excellent , it’s very detailed and it’s very well written. When the book ended, I wanted to read more but it was like…this just has to be how the STORY ends.I highly recommend this book.

  7. Kathryn E. Sanderson

    I, and my book club are baffled by the reviews of this book. It is definitely for teens (maybe) and the storyline is unbelievable. The ending is awful too.

  8. Deborah S. Fortier

    I simply loved Everything I Never Told You. Even the title is great. But I was not so crazy, I’m sorry to say, about Little Fires Everywhere. I felt it was too forced, too contrived. Too much needed explanation and background, and then the points made were so blatant and in-your-face, I felt that the story was just an excuse to make these points (not that I disagreed with her, but it didn’t feel like good, flowing, natural sounding story-telling). I’m sorry about this, as I couldn’t wait to read another book by this author, as I thought her first book was genius.

  9. Gwen

    ** warning some stuff might be given away here*** There are not many books that I want to get rid of, but this made the short list. In fact, it’s a book that I want to use to start a little fire with! Ha! J/K… kind of.The first half of the book I was all in. Ng has a different way of writing that I really like actually. She is able to tell the story from first person, from several points of view in the same few pages, along with having an overall narrator voice as well. She does it in a way that flows really well. I was super impressed.The opening is quite a grabber. It’s like she spent a REALLY long time with the beginning and middle and got it down pact. Then she had to create the second half of the book to match up to the first.It was like the first half was written by an author that knows what they are doing, and the second half was written by someone in middle school or high school, with little experience in story telling. Two main characters are pretty well-developed and then do things that don’t make any sense.For instance, Mia is a rebellious, selfish woman. For the last 15 years she had dragged her child around the country, moving 43 times (it’s in the 40’s I don’t have my book in front of me to verify the actual number). That is on average 3 times a year, but the story makes it sound like sometimes they are only in one place for a month. What kind of life does that give a child? The story also goes into how both Mia and her daughter Pearl don’t ever get attached to anyone because they know they are moving shortly.Come on… seriously? To have Pearl be so normal and “cool” with her mom chasing her happiness?? That isn’t what children are about. Kids want friends. They want family. They want stability. To not ever have furniture (unless they find it for free), to barely have enough food to eat, to not ever put any roots down… all in the name of ART???So this is the character right… Mia is really, really selfish. If she feels like she is not being inspired by an area, she moves. She doesn’t ever think of her daughter Pearl. But Pearl is totally fine with this… and of course brilliant. I guess self-taught, even tough they don’t own more than two books, if that, and is constantly changing schools.Mia is someone that does what she wants. Social norms, family, friends, school, money, job, and her daughter don’t have a factor at all in making her decisions. She just does what she wants, if her artistic sides wants to do it.Then suddenly at the end of the book, some uppity rich white chick TELLS her to leave – TOMORROW – and she does?? Not only does she but she does it in such a dramatic ridiculous way I just can’t believe it. She has befriended the Richardson daughter Izzy to a point that this girl feels like Mia is her Mom. Want to live with her and all. But someone tells her to leave so she does, without saying goodbye? Why? It’s not like the cops are after her and will put her in jail.Why doesn’t she find another apartment to live in, nearby, so her daughter can continue school. Why would Mia’s personality suddenly change to where she cares what someone else thinks or wants for her??? She wouldn’t.I’m so, so, so disappointed that I can’t get those hours of my life back that I spent reading this book.What made me get to the level of burning this book (I don’t want to give it to a library or anyone else to read to spread her terrible lies!) is the pro-abortion crap you will find in here.How Lexie can get an abortion and NOBODY in her life talks about adoption is beyond me. At one point Mrs. Richardson thinks that Bebe Chow might have had an abortion because of the stress she is under going to trial. WHAT???? Where did that come from? This character that is going to trial is fighting for all she’s got for her daughter, why would she THINK of aborting a child?I’m not sure if the author had an abortion or not, but it seems like to me that she wanted to try and make it seem like this is a normal thing that teens do. NO WAY IN HELL WOULD I LET MY KIDS READ THIS BOOK!I could go on and on about the inconsistencies in this book with the story, themes, and character development. About halfway through all of it falls a part.Such a waste. This story had so much potential.Don’t waste your time. I wish I would have looked at more reviews.You have been warned.

  10. Jon Craig

    As a proud graduate of Shaker Heights High School I wanted to see how the author portrayed our suburb, which I found to be far from perfect but pretty damn good. I liked the “Upstairs Downstairs” story line and the interplay among the teenagers. But I couldn’t keep reading when the narrative turned to the McCullough/Chow litigation. Maybe Ohio is aberrational, but this just wouldn’t happen. First off, social workers can’t just give babies to anyone they choose. Only a court can do that. In this instance the McCulloughs would have no claim to the child – they’re not the parents and no court has granted them custodial rights. Instead, social services would have to determine whether the child should be removed from her mother based on a finding of abuse or neglect. A court would have to order the removal along with a recommendation for a temporary placement. The mother would then have chance to regain the child by completing a plan of action approved by the court. This is obviously fiction, but this supposed custody battle is fantasy. Unfortunately the last 20% of the book revolves around a situation that could never occur.

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