The #1 New York Times bestseller!
“Witty, wise, and tender. It's a marvel.” —Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train and A Slow Fire Burning
“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
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You and Our Missing Hearts comes 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, Paste, Kirkus Reviews, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and many more...
Perfect for book clubs! Visit celesteng.com for discussion guides and more.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Reading Celeste Ng’s novel about the complicated neighborly relationships in tony Shaker Heights felt a little like watching a gripping documentary. The main characters—the preppy Richardson family and their bohemian mother-daughter tenants, Mia and Pearl—seem like living, breathing people, which meant we were completely invested in how their dramas would play out. Little Fires is a smart, modern American story about motherhood, community, and civic responsibility that’s full of moral quandaries. We couldn’t stop reading and plan to share it with all our friends.
This novel from Ng (Everything I Never Told You) is both an intricate and captivating portrait of an eerily perfect suburban town with its dark undertones not-quite-hidden from view and a powerful and suspenseful novel about motherhood. When the eccentric and itinerant artist Mia Warren and her 15-year-old daughter, Pearl, move into a rental house in Shaker Heights, Ohio, one summer, neither they nor their more conventional, affluent landlords, the Richardsons, have any reason to anticipate how dangerously enmeshed the two families will become. Before long, Pearl, enthralled by her first shot at a "normal" life, is spending every day with three of the four Richardson children, Lexie, Moody, and Trip, finding a best friend, a suitor, and a lover in turn. Meanwhile, Isabelle, the youngest Richardson teenager, starts heading over to see Mia, offering to work as her assistant but really looking for an escape. As both Mrs. Richardson and Mia Warren overstep their boundaries, Ng explores the complexities of adoption, surrogacy, abortion, privacy, and class, questioning all the while who earns, who claims, and who loses the right to be called a mother. This is an impressive accomplishment.
Poignant and fun
A handful of characters, each of them unique and memorable. Amazing descriptions of shared life from conflicting perspectives of many women who are very different from each other. Dilemmas that make people certain of the correct answers, except the other half of humanity is just as equally convinced that their answer is the true one. Suspense. Love, beauty, truth. This book has it all and yet it is an easy and fun read.
Didn’t engage me at all.
Little Fires Everywhere
Meh. Never became invested in any of the characters. Superfluous details to wade through.