Little Fires Everywhere

Little Fires Everywhere

Book - 2017
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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.--Provided by Publisher.
Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, 2017
Branch Call Number: FICTION NG
Characteristics: 338 pages ; 24 cm
ISBN: 9780735224292
0735224293

Opinion

From Library Staff

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned--from the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will lead. No one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules. Enter... Read More »


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Suellen1111
May 26, 2020

Worth reading. The characters are well defined & likeable; the plot line holds your interest. The first half is slow -- I skipped over some of it -- but it sets the stage for the action in the second half. And while the ending is not definitive, we have a pretty good idea how the characters are going to play it out. Originally, I resisted this book -- picked it up twice before I really got into it -- but it was well worth the effort.

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dschirmer
May 14, 2020

I wanted to read this because the previews for the show seemed intriguing and I prefer to read a story first. I was disappointed, I did not find myself wanting to pick this up- the writing seemed amateur and surface level. I expected so much more given the hype that surrounded this book. I would not recommend to a friend.

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singidunum_25
Apr 12, 2020

Well, for me this was just OK read. It wasn’t engrossing as I expected to be and took me some time to tune in properly. Now that mini tv series are showing on Hulu, I think I will watch it and see who did better!
FYI, tv series is equally bad.... very shallow.....

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bookreader02
Apr 02, 2020

Little Fires Everywhere follows two families in the idyllic town of Shaker Heights. The Richardson's are the definition of privilege while the new arrivals, the Warren's are forced to live more creatively. The families soon become intertwined, with their children's friendships and opposing views creating inescapable tension.
Celeste Ng does an incredible job of interweaving various issues such as race, wealth and privilege through a micro-lens. Each character grapples with their own views and issues that create a descriptive and through read. Additionally, through the vivid setting of Shaker Heights, each problem is expanded and explained in a fascinating nature. Little Fires Everywhere is highly unpredictable with an intense plot that pulls a reader in. Though the beginning is slightly slow to introduce all characters, the rest of the book is filled with dramatic and compelling events. Little Fires Everywhere is a fantastic read for fans of Young Adult Fiction and General Fiction alike!

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msgracie
Mar 31, 2020

Not my cup of tea. The teens had a lot of voice and that made it seem teen'ish/YA'ish. I'm not a fan of YA so I think that have a lot to do with why I didn't enjoy this book more. While I enjoyed the writing, I did not enjoy the story so much.
Rating: 2/5
Book Shelf: Random Reads Book Club

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SusanJFerguson
Mar 24, 2020

Book Club

IndyPL_CarolS Mar 11, 2020

This book was really a page turner. I didn't want to put it down. I enjoyed the character development of both families. I especially was interested in Mia's past concerning how she became pregnant and had Pearl. It was quite an unusual story! I really felt sorry for Izzy and liked when Mia befriended her. It was too bad that Izzy had so much trouble communicating with her own mother.
I do recommend reading this book. I believe you won't want to put it down,

k
knradach
Mar 08, 2020

This book was a very easy, enjoyable read. I loved the dynamic between Pearl's family and the Richardsons-- with each of the four kids being so unique, and the mother being, well.. the mother. I was a little disappointed with the ending, would have loved just a little more closure.

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monicarp
Feb 25, 2020

I went into this book knowing that the first half was a little slow, but it still surprised me HOW slow it was. That being said, this book really picks up at the half way mark - it's literally as if Celeste Ng flipped a switch because the second half of this book is amazing. I loved seeing the slow build up to a huge explosion of drama, and i think she really knows how to weave a story so that the reader is always on their toes. This book kind of reminded me a little of A Nearly Normal Family in the sense that it's a slow trek to the end, but still a thrilling ending/last half of the book. I will say though that for some, the ending may be a little too vague. There are still a few questions that we don't have answers too, but I think that Celeste Ng's books are meant to reflect real life in that sense. I definitely enjoyed this one a lot more than Celeste's debut, Everything I Never Told You, and I can't wait to see what she comes out with next.

P.S. The TV show is premiering on Hulu in March, so that might be another reason to pick this up!

esmom1 Feb 13, 2020

This book grabbed me instantly and I was hooked through most of it, strong characters and absorbing plot, but the end fades out. Too many questions left unanswered.

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Quotes

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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

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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

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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

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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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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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