Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

September 27th, 2017 Kimberly Review 49 Comments

27th Sep
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
Little Fires Everywhere
by Celeste Ng
Published by: Penguin
Narrator: Jennifer Lim
Length: 11 hours and 30 minutes
Genres: Literary Fiction
Source: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Audible
Goodreads
Narration Rating: 5
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

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.

Family Small-town Standalone well written

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

About Celeste Ng

Celeste Ng

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, Amazon’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 Medici Book Club Prize, and was a finalist for numerous awards, including the Ohioana Award, the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger Award, and the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award. Celeste grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Shaker Heights, Ohio, in a family of scientists. Celeste attended Harvard University and earned an MFA from the University of Michigan (now the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan), where she won the Hopwood Award. Her fiction and essays have appeared in One Story, TriQuarterly, Bellevue Literary Review, the Kenyon Review Online, and elsewhere, and she is a recipient of the Pushcart Prize. Currently, she lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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About Kimberly

Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. She’s a self-professed Whovian, as well as a Supernatural, and Sherlock Holmes junkie, She enjoys sharing books, tips, recipes and hosting the Sunday Post. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat…Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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49 Responses to “Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng”

  1. Lily

    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.

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