by Celeste Ng
Narrator: Jennifer Lim
Length: 11 hours and 30 minutes
Genres: Literary Fiction
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Narration: 5 cups
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.
[bctt tweet=”Make Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng your next #audio listen #mustread” username=”kimbacaffeinate”]
Ok Wow I think I’d like her Kim. Thanks
Thanks, Debbie. I hope you grab this one
I have one of her other books because I heard it’s amazing. I want this one as well, she sounds like a really good author.
I am definitely going to pick up more
This one has been recced everywhere for ages now, and I have been curious about it — and also appreciative of a clear cut review about what to expect in it. You’ve given me much to think about even as I do admit, I’m not entirely certain this is my cup of tea, Kimberly.
Thanks, Veruska. Yes, it has been well received, but certainly not for everyone. If you are curious, perhaps the library?
I’ll be needing to check this out soon! I really enjoyed her first book, this sounds like a winner, too! Glad you loved it and the narration was great too! Lovely review, Kim!
I plan on adding that to my list as well Cyn.
I have heard so many great things about this book. I haven’t read Celest Ng before but I may not be able to resist this one. I am glad you enjoyed the audio since I may end up going that route as well.
This was my first, but others have said I need to read her previous books. This was made for audio in my humble opinion.
Ooh this does sound good and because I really enjoyed Big Little Lies (the tv series), I’m going to put this on my TBR list. Thanks for the review, Kim!
Yay. I look forward to your thoughts 🙂
I’m really looking forward to this one, and your review has only fueled my excitement! I’ve got it ready to play as an audiobook.
Woot. Enjoy this is an excellent audio
Tyler H. Jolley
Wow, I’ve been seeing this one so much lately. Thanks for sharing.
Good, it deserves to be talked about 🙂
Ricki Jill Treleaven
Everything I’ve read about this book has been positive so far. I want to read it! I enjoyed reading your review! I listened to the excerpt and I like Jennifer Lim’s voice.
I hope you decide to listen Ricki
Bwahaha..like a fly on the wall, we cannot help but study them. I think it lets us know our crazy families are ok.
Nice, I’m contemplating this one after seeing positive buzz. I like the sound of the suspenseful bits and the family dynamics. Why are dysfunctional families/ communities so fun to read? 🙂
I am not familiar with the author, but it sounds like a story I would enjoy. Thanks for sharing..this one.
Glad to share it with you.
Sounds interesting. Think I saw her on Seth Meyers recently too. Will check it out…maybe a physical copy though.
Very cool Joanne.
Your review has convinced me, I looked it up on Audible and for me publishing in January 2018, do hope it is the same narrator.
Hmm in the US it published on September 12th.
I love character driven stories and complex relationships. I’m not sure which I should do. read it or listen to it.
Listen to the sample. It was a lovely listen.
Jenea's Book Obsession
I haven’t seen this one before, but from what you are saying, it sounds really good. I think I would enjoy it a lot.
Glad I could introduce it to you Jenea.
Melissa (Books and Things)
Oh I’ve been curious about this one and I do think you sold me. I’ve been on the lookout for books to get me back into audio and this one may do it. Now to see if the library has it!
Melissa (Books and Things)
I also wanted to express my condolences about your uncle. ((HUGS))
I hope you pick it up. Thank you for your kind words, Melissa.
I’m curious about this one – I live right by Ohio so it feels like a “local” story in that regard. I’m glad you enjoyed it so much!
We drove through Ohio on Sunday..lol
Cool cover and the title makes me very curious, as does your review and Jodi’s blurb comment. Her name is very familiar to me.
I think you would enjoy this one Sherry.
I have this book waiting on Pippa…and I must move it up on the list! I loved the author’s previous book, and from your review, I can tell that I will love this one, too. Thanks for sharing.
This was my first. I will be sure to check out the previous title.
wow… would be reading this. I haven’t actually come across an Asian narrator in English, so cool! I know she’s Asian, Lim is a common surname
Hope you enjoy it 🙂
Haven’t read anything from the author but this one sounds really good. I always adore stories with a family theme and this daughter and mother duo sounds really promising. I need to have my own copy!
I hope you try it, Vanessa. The writing and insight are beautiful.
I hope you grab it, Nick. This is a keeper.
I’ve been hearing a lot of great buzz about this one. I’m definitely excited to give it a try. I love the sound of all those complex relationships and characters.
I have a book by this author in French. I need to try it!
I will be trying more by her 🙂
Complex characters are never wrong
On this, we agree Linda.