Little Fires Everywhere



Everyone In Shaker Heights Was Talking About It That Summer How Isabelle, The Last Of The Richardson Children, Had Finally Gone Around The Bend And Burned The House DownIn Shaker Heights, A Placid, Progressive Suburb Of Cleveland, Everything Is Meticulously Planned From The Layout Of The Winding Roads, To The Colours Of The Houses, To The Successful Lives Its Residents Will Go On To Lead And No One Embodies This Spirit 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 Teenage Daughter Pearl, And Rents A House From The Richardsons Soon Mia And Pearl Become Than Just Tenants All Four Richardson Children Are Drawn To The Alluring Mother Daughter Pair But Mia Carries With Her A Mysterious Past, And A Disregard For The Rules That Threatens To Upend This Carefully Ordered Community.When The Richardsons Friends Attempt To Adopt A Chinese American Baby, A Custody Battle Erupts That Dramatically Divides The Town And Puts Mia And Mrs Richardson On Opposing Sides 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 SLittle Fires Everywhere 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.Little Fires Everywhere

Celeste Ng is the author of the novel Everything I Never Told You, which was a New York Times bestseller, a New York Times Notable Book of 2014, s 1 Best Book of 2014, and named a best book of the year by over a dozen publications Everything I Never Told You was also the winner of the Massachusetts Book Award, the Asian Pacific American Award for Literature, the ALA s Alex Award, and the

[PDF / Epub] ✩ Little Fires Everywhere ☉ Celeste Ng – E17streets4all.co.uk
  • Paperback
  • 368 pages
  • Little Fires Everywhere
  • Celeste Ng
  • 24 October 2018
  • 9780735224315

10 thoughts on “Little Fires Everywhere

  1. says:

    The order of the small town on the riverbankForever at war with the order of the dark and starlit soul Adrienne Rich, 8 1 68 The nonconformist has always been at war with the suburbs Adrienne Rich was writing about it 50 years ago, and she surely was not the first I can understand this dichotomy I myself have certainly experienced suburbs where a high level of conformity seemed to be expected, resulting in a weird high school atmosphere among grown adults Still, you really don t have to dig very deep to realize that things aren t as black and white as they seem There are all different kinds of people living everywhere, with varying degrees of happiness and fulfillment All of which is to say, if you re going to write on this theme now, you should probably have something new to add to the conversation, or at least a unique way of expressing it Little Fires Everywhere takes place in the planned community of Shaker Heights, where an artist named Mia and her teenage daughter Pearl move into a rental home after having lived a peripatetic existence since Pearl s birth The battle lines are immediately drawn the nonconformist, creative Mia versus the staid middle aged matrons of Shaker Heights Mind you, these battle lines aren t initially drawn by the characters, but by the author, who makes it clear that Mia is the moral center of the book Characters who like Mia are the good characters characters who don t like Mia are the bad characters and characters who are suspicious of Mia at first and then come around to liking her have experienced a redemptive arc This would be less problematic if Mia hadn t view spoiler agreed to be a surrogate mother while in college, run off while still pregnant, forced her daughter to live a nomadic life in order not to blow her cover, and lied to her daughter the entire time, as well as keeping her from her grandparents and her biological father hide spoiler

  2. says:

    All her life, she had learned that passion, like fire, was a dangerous thing It so easily went out of control. 4 1 2 stars You should go into this book expecting what it is a slow moving character portrait filled with complex family dynamics and small town politics If you know what this is, like with Ng s Everything I Never Told You, and don t go into it expecting fast pacing and high octane drama, you will probably find this quiet read to be extremely engrossing and emotional.I have to be in the mood for this kind of read, but when I am, it packs a powerful punch These characters are so vivid, so real, so caught up in the little fires of everyday life in Shaker Heights There s several stories going on in here, but the book begins with literal fires lighting up the Richardson household and the knowledge that the youngest daughter, Izzy, the wild card, has disappeared Presumably because she is guilty of the arson.Then we move back from there We start to get a portrait of the events leading up to this dramatic fire We see the poor artist, Mia, and her daughter, Pearl, move into town and the effect they have on all members of the Richardson family Further back, we get the past stories of almost every character who comes into this book It is such a rich work in which the personal stories and experiences of secondary characters play a huge part in influencing how events unfold.And, behind it all, is a court case that will affect all the characters lives A custody battle over a Chinese baby who could be given every toy, every desire, every opportunity by her rich and white adoptive parents but is that all Is that enough when her poor birth mother is ready and willing to care for her Things become very tense The town becomes divided And I felt an emotional wreck by the end of it, too Mrs Richardson, however, could not let Izzy be, and the feeling coalesced in all of them Izzy pushing, her mother restraining, and after a time no one could remember how the dynamic had started, only that it had existed always. The Richardson family, along with Mia and Pearl, Bebe, and the McCulloughs, all pulled me into their lives I despised a character at one point, only to find pity for them a couple of chapters later The relationship between Izzy and her mother was a real point of interest for me How Mrs Richardson s fears about Izzy affected her behaviour toward her, which in turn affected how Izzy behaved All leading to the ultimate question was Izzy always what Mrs Richardson feared she was Or did Mrs Richardson create what she most feared through her treatment of Izzy Little Fires Everywhere is a great example of how small character dynamics can create a powerful and fascinating story I love the empathy the author shows for all the people in this book even the manipulative, morally corrupt and undeserving No one is merely good or bad And that is what makes the book so effective Whose side am I on I ll let you know if I ever figure it out.Blog Facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube

  3. says:

    4.25 stars Little Fires Everywhere is such an apt title for a novel that delves into the intricacies and angst that undoubtedly burns through some relationships maybe none so than mother and daughter At its core, this story explores the notion that being a mother doesn t mean being perfect it comes down to love, sacrifice and sheer will Through her cast of captivating characters, Celeste Ng confronts the reality that haunts us all each and every one of us is rife with cracks and flaws, no matter how well we hide it from prying eyes That s just life.It s akin to pure magic when you pick up a book from an author you haven t read before I know, what s wrong with me How did I miss Everything I Never Told You and find yourself caught up in what can only be described as book nirvana I had heard Celeste Ng s writing style was incredible, but I took that with a grain of salt merely an attempt on my part to avoid disappointment What I didn t anticipate was this level of character development This level of intricate detail and the multifaceted beings I wanted nothing than to surround myself with.I have to admit, it was Mia that started out as my least favorite of the bunch Her artsy fartsy, gypsy ways came off as incredibly selfish A mother sacrificing any sense of stability for her daughter, in an attempt to chase her next inspiration, rubbed me the wrong way How could she not stay in one place and let her incredibly smart daughter thrive Then we meet Mrs Richardson who s been hell bent on living the life she laid out so perfectly in her mind From most angles she has it all steady career, lovely home, successful husband, wealth and four children A conundrum of sorts, she s tenacious, but still somehow oblivious Initially, I wasn t really sure what to make of her or her motives was I reading into things than I should What binds these two very different women together is their teenage children who have their own fires burning between them and a custody battle that rocks their small town The women end up on opposing sides of the equation, only working to further highlight their differences The author juxtaposes these two women in many aspects but not overtly so and by the end, I was stunned.What struck me the most about this journey was the author s ability to change my entire perspective meaning, my thoughts and feelings in the beginning of the story were vastly different by the time I turned that final page Some aspects ended on a sad note, but overall it was still a satisfying ending to what I can only describe as a fully immersive novel I had the pleasure of reading this with the Traveling Sisters group what a fun experience it turned out to be Celeste Ng gave us plenty to discuss Looking forward to the next read sisters Thank you to Penguin Press and Edelweiss for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

  4. says:

    My reviews can also be seen at Little Fires Everywhere is my first read by Celeste Ng, but I m pretty sure that it won t be my last I could easily have read this book in just one or two sittings but life got in the way in this case life being a glass of 7up, a knee jerk and Nooo Save the books But once the book was dry, I picked it up again and didn t stop until I finished the last page.Everything in Shaker Heights is planned and there are rules that residents must follow Houses can only be painted certain colors to ensure aesthetic harmony , garbage is never put out in front of the house, lawns must always be cut promptly, etc The city motto says it all Most communities just happen the best are planned When Mia Warren and her fifteen year old daughter, Pearl rent a home from the Richardsons, 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.One of the Richardson boys, Moody is curious about the new tenants and heads over to the rental property Moody and Pearl hit it off immediately Moody who has never wanted for anything, is surprised at how this mother and daughter make their way Mia can stretch a dollar and leftover food farther than anyone he s ever seen It s not long before Moody brings Pearl home to meet everyone Soon Pearl is spending much of her time at the Richardson home At first, everything is fantastic Mrs Richardson even hires Mia to do some housekeeping and cooking at the Richardson home But it won t be long before the many differences between Mia and Mrs Richardson cause a divide that will affect the two families in unimaginable ways.In some ways, I felt bad for Pearl as the nomadic life that her mother had them living would be hard on anyone, especially a teenage girl However, Pearl also seemed to benefit from the way they lived At first, Mia came across as incredibly selfish but it wasn t long before I loved her Her caring ways were evident and how she responded to the different crises that came up endeared her to me I may not have agreed with all of her choices but I could certainly see how she would have made them.Right off the bat I was irked by Mrs Richardson the fact that she was rarely referred to by her first name was fitting Mrs Richardson was the type who wanted to be seen as someone who cared and helped others However, you could tell right away that she kept track of all the good things she had done And you never knew when Mrs Richardson would want a repayment of her kindness When she offers to buy one of Mia s photographs and Mia doesn t fall at her feet with gratitude That s very generous of you Mia s eyes slid toward the window briefly and Mrs Richardson felt a twinge of irritation at this lukewarm response to her philanthropy Izzy was a firecracker and I adored her impulsiveness and strong feelings about right and wrong Even at ten years old, setting shelter cats free They re like prisoners on death row , her refusal to conform was thrilling Mrs Pissers and the toothpick incident had me giggling And I hurried to Google to search This Be The Verse by Philip Larkin.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 just 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.The additional story line of little Mirabelle McCullough May Ling Chow s adoption was incredibly thought provoking and had me asking myself some hard questions I honestly didn t know which side I was on half the time My head was spinning What made someone a mother Was it biology alone, or was it love I thought that the development of the characters was fantastic With so many characters and only so many pages, it takes skill to bring them all to life And in my opinion Celeste Ng did a phenomenal job And with the many 90 s references such as Sir Mix a lot, Smashing Pumpkins, Jerry Springer, and Monica Lewinsky I was taken back to my own adolescence.This was an intriguing and compelling domestic drama A story about motherhood, adolescence, race, rules, right and wrong, and so much Great characters and an interesting plot made Little Fires Everywhere a fast and fantastic read Many thanks go to Penguin Press for providing a copy of this book for me to read in exchange for my honest review.

  5. says:

    Dang If this book does not get your brain churning, well, then you did not read the same book I just did This book is filled with so many scenarios with so many questions and no perfect answers Every situation is a little pile of kindling and any of the questionable solutions will only ignite the fire soon you have a bunch of fires ready to burn everything to the ground Man, that would be a great title for this book Oh wait .It has been a long time since I remember reading a book where my mind and problem solving skills have been this challenged Usually when you are reading you think, well, the best route for them to follow is this or Geez, it s obvious that they should never have done that In this book I just kept thinking, I am glad I am not the one who has to make any of these decisions Also, this book is full of so many misunderstandings I get frustrated when someone is falsely accused or the wrong conclusion is assumed Every 15 minutes I found myself yelling at this book IT WASN T HER NO, THAT S NOT WHAT HAPPENED SOMEONE SPEAK UP OH, THIS ISN T GOING TO END WELL I believe I have said it before, but any time a book has you engaged so much you yell at it, want to pull the characters out of the pages and shake them, and or need a stiff drink to calm your nerves at the end of each chapter, you are reading a pretty darn good book.Give your analytical side a gift and read this book it would be a great one for a book club I imagine it would certainly lead to some lively discussion

  6. says:

    Most of the time, everyone deserves than one chance We all do things we regret now and then You just have to carry them with you Never in my life have I read any book, any narrative, that cared as deeply for all of its characters as this one did Little Fires Everywhere lives in the grey area, leaving it impossible not to be invested, impossible not to love every character and cry for every character and root for every character, despite all their flaws I really struggle to characterize this book it s sort of a combination between a mystery and literary fiction, and will probably work best for you if you re a fan of both Little Fires Everywhere is a very slow burn story about a small town thrown into disarray by a court dispute When an Asian baby given up by her mother is adopted by a white family, it causes a spiral of events that lead to a scene of a house on fire and a family driven away.I think I ve already expressed this, but this book is a masterpiece It s one of those books that I finished and then was just on my bed tearing up because it s so well crafted The reason this book is so fantastic is primarily structural we see the end, and then we go back and see the beginning But anyway, the reason this book works so well is the characterization There is so much to appreciate here I like that Moody is sort of written as the stereotypical jilted nice guy, and and then we see nuance to that characterization I loved the complexity of the dynamic between poor characters and rich characters I loved how no character is black and white, but they have definition nonetheless Of the approximately eleven person main cast, Izzy is my absolute favorite Izzy is a ridiculously relatable character for me personally mainly through her relationship with her mom There s a line somewhere where Izzy says she thinks her mother sees her as such a demon that all her actions are framed in that light that was me And that is still me in my relationship with one of my parents The degree to which the narrative of this book validates her trauma and her feelings is incredible.And on another very personal note, Mia kind of reminds me of my other parent So some of you who follow me on this platform might now that my mom and I are really, really close, and I grew up with her as my main support system And I think her relationship with Izzy just felt so personal to me for that reason So maybe this was too personal a read for me, but I m going to be honest it s my belief that reading is something that is meant to be personal And maybe the degree to which this personally affected me is the most important part of all.There s a scene within this book that has stuck with me since the beginning, in which the adoptive mother of the baby is asked how she plans to incorporate Chinese culture into the life of the baby, and she brings up oriental rugs and how she gives the baby rice And it s this awful moment, because we know she loves that baby We do But in that moment she becomes the persecutor of her own child She does not understand, and so she perpetrates a culture that has been trying to swallow up her child I think that s what this book is about, in the end the degrees to which we can hurt people without ever attempting to, the way we can ruin lives through looking for our own happiness This book was masterful And I hope you all read it Blog Goodreads Twitter Youtube

  7. says:

    I pre ordered this book months ago It arrived at 12 01am today I ve been reading non stop a one sitting read with a few necessity breaks Here s is my problem I feel as if I ve read this story before I was only mildly interested in many scenes There were parts I found trite and parts I found semi boring Personally I found the characters to be very one dimensional Here s another problem I have Yesterday I finished reading In The Fall They Come Back , by Robert Bausch I saw a lot of similarities in these two books, but this novel didn t wow me nearly as much This story seemed like it had all the elements I usually love The wealthy and thrifty battle it outplus moral issues to think about but my heart wasn t always in it Not sure why It could be me For one thing. I spent summers in Shaker Heights I felt this book could have been written anywhere Plus I m not sure I appreciated some of the stereotyping of this community.BUT.here s a small flavor of the characters you ll spend time with The Richardson s family Bill is an attorney and drives a BMW SedanElena is a wife mom. works for the local newspaper Sun Press She drives a LexusTHE FOUR SIBLINGS Lexie senior drives an explorer has the lead in her School play Seems fruity shallow at times but is an excellent student Trip a junior drives a jeep loves sports handsome fit and charming Moody sopho rides a bike bless him most compassionate very bright introspective Izzy Freshman considered black sheep of the bunch feels different than others in her family The Warren s They recently moved into a rental a duplex that the Richardsons own Mia 36 years old, single mom, artist Mia drives a VW Rabbit She would rather mop floors any day quietly alone than have to wait on customers Pearl 15 years old Mia s daughter shy honors student Paul, my husband, is rushing me he says RETIRE lol..So..I LIKED IT..but. after several great books I ve recently read, I can t say I m wild about it It was ok alright better than OK Worth reading Others may love it 3.6 stars

  8. says:

    I d rate this 3.5 stars I know, it s killing me, too Sometimes one of my greatest frustrations with books I read is that it is difficult for me to believe that a character would do something egregious as a knee jerk reaction to something they don t agree with I know, I m reading fiction, which isn t always directly based on real life, but sometimes a character s actions are so ridiculous and ring so false that they really change my feelings about a book.Other times a character is so unlikable although you may discover it s all an act that they re just so off putting, and they detract from the book s appeal.Both things happened for me while reading Celeste Ng s new book, Little Fires Everywhere , and I m so disappointed, because I wanted to love it While I found much of the book simply beautiful, the plot and one character travel down a path that I found a little too far fetched and irritating that it spoiled how I felt.To someone on the outside looking in, the Richardson family seems like the quintessential Shaker Heights, Ohio family two successful and driven parents, four good looking children, sure to follow in their parents footsteps The perception isn t all false Elena Richardson, who returned to her hometown after college to raise a family, is a reporter for the local paper her husband is a successful attorney Their children, each one year apart, are each popular and successful in their own way, except the youngest, Izzy, who has a knack for standing out, especially if it means pushing her mother s buttons.When Mia Warren, an enigmatic, slightly bohemian artist, and her daughter Pearl arrive in Shaker Heights, and move into the Richardsons rental apartment, the family quickly falls under their spell Pearl, who has moved times than she can count, always on her mother s whim, has finally extracted a promise from Mia that they will stay in Shaker Heights, and she is excited to finally be able to make friends and cement relationships instead of biding her time until she leaves town again.Pearl and the Richardsons younger son, Moody, become close friends, although quickly she becomes a part of the family Mia, too, in addition to working on her art, begins working for the Richardsons, becoming an unexpected confidante for older daughter Lexie, and forging a relationship with Izzy that she can t have with her mother But Mia is also wary of the Richardsons and doesn t quite trust that all is as perfect as it seems.When a custody battle involving one of Elena s oldest friends becomes fodder for the media, everyone in town has an opinion Elena discovers that she and Mia are on opposite sides of this fight, which causes Elena to view Mia with suspicion Suddenly she feels the need to find about this mysterious woman who holds her family in her thrall, and Elena doesn t realize or care, really about what damage the truth may cause, for everyone 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 Little Fires Everywhere is a powerful meditation on motherhood and the sometimes tenuous bond between mother and child It s also a book about the destructive power of secrets, misunderstandings, and miscommunication, and how easily problems could be avoided if people would just say what they thought, or speak up rather than let a person roll over them At its most poignant, this is a book about the damage that can be done by neglect or mistreatment, even when it s unintended, and how finding someone who seems to care about you can be a life changing force.Ng is a storyteller with such quiet power As she did in her spectacular first novel, Everything I Never Told You , she captures the routine and dramatic moments in a family s life, uncovering just how much goes on underneath the silences While I appreciate her fearlessness in creating unappealing characters, I really was unhappy with some of her choices, which I won t reveal for fear of spoiling the plot, but they just seemed so ludicrous and in one case, just a wee bit convenient and predictable that one character and her treatment of others became almost one dimensional.I ve seen many glowingly positive reviews of this book, so I wouldn t let my criticisms dissuade you from reading it if it interests you Ng is an immense talent, and I look forward to seeing what s next for her If you do read this, I would love to talk to you after you re finished, to see what you thought about the things that frustrated me See all of my reviews at

  9. says:

    I think it s safe to say that I ll read everything Celeste Ng ever writes.Just like in a mystery book, you have to work at getting to the root of her stories She doesn t hand you the plot from the get go, but instead offers you kernels of the story until everything comes together at the very end Although this can lead to frustration or boredom, especially with the sometimes barebones plot, I loved it.I m very much a character focused reader, and this was very much a character focused novel There s not much action driving this book forward It s slow paced, but this gives us the time to dive deeper into the nuances of the complicated situation these characters are placed into By examining from all sides, we are shown how both humans and their choices are complicated.If you like character studies, complex relationships, and a 90s suburban setting, please pick this up

  10. says:

    So, self identification determines if a book is YA Based on than 60% of the content, this is young adult material It s good parts are excellent, others not so much I liked Mia s backstory as she became an artist using experimental photography I thought that the custody dispute concerning Oriental Barbie was worth at least a star or two.A lot of the characters are clich d The at home Mr Richardson could be a cardboard cutout with excellent earning skills He fairs a lot better before the judge The Richardson children fit into The Breakfast Club well A jock, a popular girl, a smart kid and Izzy who may well be a transgendered Holden Caulfield thank you to my GR friend, Bill Kupersmith , but I liked her a lot than that wretched boy So yeah, the Richardson s have a child for each grade in high school Mrs Richardson produced four singletons in roughly as many years While in other respects, she is a perfect match for her orderly and rule bound community The rapid fire baby production seemed reckless and out of place It is the only part of her character that jibbed with aggressively investigating her tenant and employee s past Opening a can of worms and a house full of screaming babies being equally disordered and unpredictable.I don t believe that she is meant to be likable She approaches friendship with same calculation as Claire Underwood with a careful tally of every kindness But, as she is central to the book, I wish she were plausible Even if she were perfectly constructed, the story is still awfully scattered.My son heard part of the book while we were driving over the holidays When we stopped, he would say So and give a one sentence summary of the upcoming section or chapter I don t believe he has any preternatural gifts as plot savant A lot of the story is pretty predictable.I have a quibble about that car Is that the same VW rabbit Mia s brother bought when they were teenagers If so, how did she manage vehicle maintenance on minimum wage earnings supplemented by occasionally selling a piece of art Twenty to thirty years of use is aging NASA spacecraft territory, but this car starts reliably, runs well over long distances, and doesn t need any repairs It seems oddly out of place given the careful mathematics of Bebe s poverty.P.S I stand corrected my son says he is too a plot savant.

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