by Celeste Ng
Published by: Penguin
Narrator: Jennifer Lim
Length: 11 hours and 30 minutes
Genres: Literary Fiction
Purchase: Amazon | Audible
Narration Rating: 5
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, NYT 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.
I was drawn to LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE by Celeste Ng thanks to fellow bloggers and decided to review the audio. Ng takes us inside the homes of ” the perfect neighborhood, ” and while you may envy their perfect little life, they are far from happy. Brilliantly poignant Ng’s grasp on human relationships, particularly those of the mother-daughter dynamic was cleverly insightful.
“Even then Mia had a sense of what she was starting; a hot smell pricked her nostrils, like the first wisp of smoke from a far-off blaze . . . .”
Caffeinated Reasons to Listen to Little Fires Everywhere
- Welcome to Shaker Heights, a progressive little town situated in Cleveland. It is the perfectly planned neighborhood where even duplexes look like single-family homes. Everything about the town was designed to avoid any unpleasantness, and EVERYONE follows the rules. Mrs. Elena Richardson, married to a successful lawyer, and the mother of four, exemplifies the perfect citizen of Shaker Heights but as Ng invites us inside and things become topsy-turvy, we begin to see the cracks in this perfect family and community.
- Elena owns her parent’s house just across the way and rents the home out to Pearl, a single mother, and her fifteen-year-old daughter Mia. At first, Elena sees this as a good deed. But as her children grow closer to Pearl and Mia, and a child custody battle, involving her best friend escalates, Elena becomes angered when Pearl chooses the wrong side. She begins to investigate Pearl but as she does so, her own home begins to crumble.
- The mother-daughter relationship between Elena and her youngest daughter Izzy was brilliantly portrayed. This dysfunctional relationship will resonate with many a daughter and Ng’s insight into this complex dynamic was very insightful.
- The story has an overall plot with a few subplots that created some suspense and set the pace. Together they created a story and characters I could not look away from. I listened and found myself pausing and rewinding to listen again to some of Ng’s beautiful prose. If you are reading this prepare to highlight.
- Jennifer Lim narrated and this was my first time listening to her. I think Ms. Lim was the perfect choice for the novel from the voices she chose for each of the characters to her handling of the pacing. I could not have asked for a better narration.
For fans of Liane Moriarty’s BIG LITTLE LIES, LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE offers a compelling listen that touches on social change, motherhood, and privilege. Ng shares complex characters who stay with you long after their story is told.Make Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng your next #audio listen #mustread Click To Tweet
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